Why is it that whenever you mix unfamiliar sows or pigs in a group a fierce battle ensues?
It’s in their genes. Pigs are hard-wired to establish a hierarchy when placed in the near proximity of others. That’s the conclusion USDA livestock behavioral specialist Jeremy Marchant-Forde offered at a sow housing workshop during the Leman Swine Conference recently. But he adds a caveat: Given a choice, they might just avoid the altercation altogether. At least, that’s what their ancestors would do....More
You may have noticed that we had an election this week. It seems like there has been almost as much time devoted to analyzing the election results on various media outlets as there was time devoted to political advertising—I did say “almost.” I’ve spent several days sorting through the various election results—and I’m still sorting....More
Danish pig producers have announced they are confident of being ready in time for the European Union’s partial ban on the use of sow stalls. According to the latest estimates from Denmark, the industry claims around 85% of its farmers are already keeping pregnant sows in group systems, according to a report Monday by Ed Bedington for the Global Meat News....More
Two of the most-read stories this week on the National Hog Farmer Web site were devoted to Tyson Foods, Inc.’s recent announcement about implementing an on-farm auditing program, called the Tyson FarmCheck program....More
Pork production facilities built and operated in the 21st century need to provide optimum environmental conditions to maximize production efficiency and provide a safe and healthy environment for pigs and workers while conserving energy. To accomplish these goals requires a fully integrated ventilation system that is specifically designed and installed for the specific barn and animals housed....More
Missouri Farmers Care, a consortium of agricultural groups which successfully beat back two initiatives in the state supported by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is supporting similar efforts in North Dakota.
Missouri Farmers Care has been assisting the North Dakota Animal Stewards, a broad-based coalition that is opposing a misleading ballot initiative in North Dakota....More
Tyson Foods, Inc., the nation’s leading producer of meat and poultry, today announced it is launching a program to personally audit the treatment of animals at the livestock and poultry farms that supply the company. The effort is in line with the company’s core value to serve as a steward of the animals entrusted to it....More
Students and alumni of California State University at Chico, which has a significant agriculture program, quickly revolted last week at a news release put out by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that proclaimed the school had signed onto the Meatless Monday scam perpetuated by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) propaganda....More
The management skills of swine producers throughout the European Union (EU) will be put to the test beginning Jan. 1, 2013, with the mandated move away from gestation sow stalls to group housing. Swine welfare experts predict that 18 of the EU’s 27 pig-producing countries will meet the group-housing deadline....More
Iowa pork producers know that consumers rely on them to provide a safe and nutritious product that was raised in the best way possible, both for the animal and the farmer, according to the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
One way producers show their commitment to these ideals is by becoming Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus)-certified and by achieving PQA Plus site status....More
The lawsuit filed Monday by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) against the U.S. secretary of agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the purchase by the National Pork Board of "Pork. The Other White Meat" registered trademark challenges the legitimate purchase of a valuable business asset, National Pork Board Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak said. "I find it unusual that HSUS is filing suit now over a decision that was made and approved more than six years ago," Novak said....More
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced Monday that it had joined an independent hog farmer in filing a lawsuit in federal district court, charging that the National Pork Board struck an unlawful backroom deal with a Washington, D.C. lobbying organization for the purchase of the “Pork. The Other White Meat” slogan....More
Why is sow lameness such a big deal?
Animal welfare has always been and continues to be a priority for the swine industry, according to Tim Loula, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, MN.
Animal activists are also watching and taking undercover videos that make proper animal care even more important than ever, he says at the Feet First Sow Lameness Symposium in Minneapolis, MN, sponsored by Zinpro....More
Veterinary researchers at Iowa State University (ISU) are developing improved methods to diagnose a reemerging swine disease that was essentially a non-issue five years ago but has become increasingly more common since then. Swine dysentery, also known as bloody scours, is a disease in pigs that causes diarrhea containing mucus and blood and eventually leads to uneven growth and increased mortality among infected herds....More
The National Pork Producers Council yesterday presented Rep. Adrian Smith, R-NE, with the “Friend of Pork” award at its fall legislative conference held in Washington, DC.
The award is reserved for members of Congress who demonstrate a strong commitment to and continually work to advance the U.S. pork industry....More
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) addresses concerns about how changes in livestock production practices can ultimately impact consumers in a new, eight-minute video. The video is narrated by Scott Hurd, DVM, Iowa State University. “Animal health is closely linked to public health,” Hurd says. He urges policy makers and consumers to carefully consider the implications that animal housing and animal care decisions can have both on the health of the animal, and, ultimately, on public health as well....More
In July, the animal rights group Mercy for Animals (MFA) released an undercover video shot at one of Christensen Farms' facilities in an effort to pressure retail outlets to denounce the use of gestation stalls by their pork suppliers. In the aftermath, Christensen Farms’ Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Glenn Stolt offers some crisis management tips to fellow pork producers....More
The theme of this year’s Workforce Development Seminar is “Animal Care is Our Priority.” The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Country Inn and Suites, Mankato, MN. This annual event covers current issues and provides new information for those who raise and care for hogs. The seminar is sponsored by the Minnesota Pork Board and Pork Checkoff.
This year’s seminar topics include the following:...More
The Kansas State University Animal Health Corridor Lecture Series is hosting a luncheon seminar, “Animal Welfare: Impact on Industry and Public Perceptions,” at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 15 on the school’s Olathe campus, 22201 W. Innovation Drive....More
Tyson Foods, Inc. has issued this response to the citizen’s petition sent by consumer watchdog group SumOfUs.org and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) demanding the company develop plans to stop pork suppliers from using gestation crates.
“We recognize our responsibility to motivate continuous improvements throughout the food chain. We’re committed to humane animal treatment at all stages of food production and we expect the same from farms that supply us with livestock....More
The National Pork Board disagrees with the portrayal of pork production shown in a video produced by Mercy for Animals that was released on Wednesday.
The National Pork Board and the pig farmers of America have a deep commitment and responsibility to the welfare of the animals we raise....More
Nearly a quarter million people have signed a petition to Tyson Foods, the world’s second-largest meat processor and major U.S. pork supplier based in Springdale, AR, from consumer watchdog group SumOfUs.org and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) demanding the company develop plans to stop suppliers from using gestation crates....More