EU PiG Newsletter April 2017

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Hi, this is the first newsletter of the EU PiG project, introducing some of the work of partner organisations and the Regional Pig Innovation Groups (RPIGs) in each of the 13 EU member states involved highlighting the key aspects of the project, along with other related activity.  I hope the information is of interest and useful, but you are also welcome to consider and contribute to the discussion group on Linked-In and comment through the EU PiG Twitter page.

Steve Bradley
EU PiG Innovation Group

An introduction to EU PiG by IRTA...

In March, researchers from IRTA, the research institute owned by the Government of Catalonia, were invited to give a short talk to introduce the EU Pig project at the Annual General meeting of The Catalan Association of Pig Producers (PORCAT).

The meeting was in two parts, a first part of internal presentations for the association members, during which Dr. Emma Fàbrega presented the background to the EU PiG project,  to promote the involvement of the producers, and a second part in which the members could attend a conference by Dr. Bruno González on the reduction of use of antimicrobials. The meeting was closed by the Catalan Councillor of Agriculture, Ms. Meritxell Serret.

More information available in the press release (in Catalan) at the PORCAT portal.

TEAGASC and EU PiG - the ‘Grand Prix’ competition to find best practice amongst pig producers..

In early March, Ciarán Carroll, Head of the Pig Development Department of TEAGASC (Ireland) circulated a newsletter to farmers and industry people working in the pig sector. It provided the background to the projects launch, and the aims of the network around the coordination, collaboration, and sharing of findings from existing pre-farm gate research, including the sharing of best practice on technical production, along with approaches to knowledge transfer with pig producers and associated advisors.

More at the TEAGASC website and Twitter @TeagascPig

Key risks for tail biting in pigs, and practical suggestions to help reduce these risks on-farm.

In seeking best practice from pig producers through the ‘Grand Prix’, one of the 8 topics being considered by the project as part of the ‘animal welfare’ theme is tail docking.  As part of the wider tail biting issue, this new web-based husbandry advisory tool, or WebHAT has just been developed and published through AHDB in the UK.

It is an interactive resource for farmers and vets, providing information about the key risks for tail biting in pigs and practical suggestions to help reduce these risks on farm.  Information taken from evidence-based sources and scientific literature enables users to identify a number of risks associated with tail biting.  It can then be used to generate a report of prioritised, key tail-biting risks found on a farm and obtain suggestions to address them.

More information available at WebHAT

An EU report on study visits to share good practice on rearing pigs with intact tails...

A report DG Health & Food Safety recently published (Feb 2017), provides evidence that there are solutions to counter the commonly held belief that rearing pigs and avoiding tail docking is impossible.Based on visits to three countries where tail docking is not performed routinely (Finland, Sweden and Switzerland), it summarises good practices to rear pigs with intact tails.

Based on visits to three countries where tail docking is not performed routinely (Finland, Sweden and Switzerland), it summarises good practices to rear pigs with intact tails.
It finds the key is lower stress levels through active management of enrichment materials; feed and air quality; reduction of competition between animals and good animal health status.

Click here for more information

AHDB visit to Germany...

The trial and education farm Futterkamp, in Blekendorf, in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, played host to a number of the AHDB technical team last week. The facility brings teaching and animal research together and the team had a chance to observe the operation of novel building technologies and precision livestock management techniques in situ.

Dominic Chairman, the technical manager said, "It's been a really valuable trip and an interesting insight into the environmental and other legislative challenges facing the German industry, many of which parallel our own. It's been an excellent opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the questions that need to be answered when considering pig house ventilation".

More information in the AHDB weekly news – 7 April 2017 issue.

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Exchanging knowledge, sharing innovation. Action to improve the pig industry.

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EU PiG Grand Prix

A contest to identify best practice in each of the project's four thematic areas.

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