EU PiG Newsletter August 2018


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Announcing the Winners: EU PiG 2018 Grand Prix

The eight winners of the 2018 Grand Prix have been announced, with each of these innovative producers awarded the title of EU PiG Ambassador.  Their winning best practices address eight key challenges, which were identified by the industry.

Theme: Precision Production
Challenges: Reduce emissions and Increase sow performance

  • Daily manure removal to reduce emissions - Netherlands 
  • Improving young sow retention - United Kingdom  

Theme: Meat Quality
Challenges: Reducing variation before slaughter and Produce tastier pork

  • Easy weighing of pigs for slaughter - Netherlands 
  • Olive oil as a source of fat for pigs - Belgium 

Theme: Animal Welfare
Challenges: Loose farrowing systems and Innovative enrichment materials

  • Birth management in loose farrowing systems - Austria 
  • Novelty enrichment material - Spain 

Theme: Health Management
Challenges: Managing without zinc oxide and Optimal vaccination strategies

  • Different feeds as zinc oxide alternatives - Belgium 
  • Cross-company approach to PRRS - Belgium 

For further details about these winning best practices, including the contact details for each of the Regional Pig Innovation Group (RPIG) leaders, please click here.

There will be two new challenges for each theme for the 2019 Grand Prix.  Further details, along with how you can get involved, will be announced in the next issue.

2017 Ambassador Focus: Health and Welfare

The EU PiG project seeks to share the benefits of on-farm best practice between producers to promote a sustainable pig industry across the EU.  This issue focuses on four of the project's 2017 Ambassadors and how they approach key health and welfare challenges.


Theme: Animal Welfare
Challenge: Castration Methods
Ambassador: Ramon Armengol, Mas Sant Sebastià, Spain

Spanish farmer Ramon Armengol has a 720-sow, farrow-to-finish ‘closed unit’ producing entire males. Aware of the risks of boar taint and possible welfare issues associated with this, he has introduced several different systems to address them – the results including lower production costs per kilo.

Theme: Animal Welfare
Challenge: Tail Docking
Ambassador: Tiina Puska, Finland

Tail docking has been banned in Finland since 2003, so the Sikana Oy farm rears its 2,980 finisher pigs with intact tails and uses a number of practical measures to ensure they comply with legislation and maintain both welfare and productivity.

Theme: Health Management
Challenge: Antibiotics
Ambassador: Kees van der Meijden, Netherlands

Dutch farmer Kees van der Meijden has achieved the enviable goal of reducing antibiotic use to almost zero, while at the same time, improving pig performance; the farm is producing 33 piglets per sow per year.

Theme: Health Management
Challenge: Biosecurity
Ambassador: Eugene Sheehan, Ireland

Producer Eugene Sheehan from Ireland has reduced pig production costs per kg slaughter weight by 9.3% and lowered antibiotic use by 90%, having been the first to use a new biosecurity scoring tool, Biocheck.UGent ®.


The next issue will feature the four best practices from the Precision Production and Meat Quality themes.

Horizon 2020: Funding Opportunities

The European Commission has just published the updated Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2018-2020. The updated EIP-AGRI brochure highlights all the 2019 calls related to agriculture and forestry. For further details, please click here.

This brochure includes a section on page five about thematic networks, which collect, share and exchange knowledge and best practices, with EU PiG featuring as an example in progress.

Changes in Data Protection Law

The law on how companies collect, manage and use personal data changed on 25th May, 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force.  We have updated our privacy policy which sets out how EU PiG handles and takes care of the personal information we collect from each subscriber.  If you’d like to find out more, please take a look at our updated privacy policy.

Please continue to visit the EU PiG website to keep up to date in terms of developments.  The website is being refreshed over the coming months in order to further facilitate knowledge exchange to help producers drive and adopt innovation on farm. 


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About EU PiG

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

About the project

EU PiG Grand Prix

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

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