Following final selection by RPIGs, project partners, and stakeholders, the eight winning best practices from the Grand Prix 2017 have been decided, and the winners awarded the title of EU PiG Ambassador. The best practices represent the four project themes, covering eight nominated challenges identified by the industry in 2017. There will be two new challenges chosen for each theme for the Grand Prix 2018, which will be announced shortly:
click here to see more information on all these winning Best Practices and the benefits involved on the EU PiG website.
Additional detail will be added to the EU PiG website Best Practice page in due course, and meantime producers can contact their local Regional Pig Innovation Group (RPIG) leaders for more details on the best practices and other innovators in their region. Visit here for the RPIG contact details.
Precision production – smart water usage: Clean and accessible water - Denmark
The herd uses a water purification system, (DCW), which ensures clean water and impairs the formation of biofilm in water pipes. The result is improved pig health and productivity and, in turn, lower costs. The component is a disinfectant that is biodegradable and approved for drinking water for production animals.
[As microbes grow, they attach themselves to wetted surfaces in the water distribution system. They protect themselves from disinfecting agents by forming biofilms. A biofilm contains a group of bacteria enveloped within a polymeric slime that ensures adhesion to the pipe surface; http://bit.ly/2ybndrY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6fa3lgF3Zk ]
Precision production – feed management: Routine weighing for accurate feeding - Denmark
Systematic routine weighing is used to choose the right feed mix, as well as routinely monitoring pig productivity. Pigs in the entire pen are weighed on a weekly basis, and data is typed into a system to monitor weight gain.
Meat quality – innovations in the supply chain: ‘Heart Pig’: marketing via welfare brand - Denmark
The farmer’s pork is marketed under the ‘Heart Pig’ welfare brand, having put in place the specific management practices required.
Meat quality – reduction of boar taint: Male fatteners without boar taint – Germany
An EN-Z-EMA and Strat-E-Ger study looked at how fattening of uncastrated male piglets can work in practice, and found a way to reduce boar taint via the breeding programme, through selection of terminal line boars.
Welfare – castration methods: Entire male production - Spain
It is estimated that around 80% of male piglets in Spain are produced without castration. This enables them to take advantage of the better efficiency of producing entire males, and to produce meat with a lower fat content. At the same time, they avoid the practice of castration, and preserve high welfare standards.
Welfare – tail docking: Rearing pigs with intact tails - Finland
Tail docking is banned in Finland, so this unit 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.
Health – Bio-security: Biosecurity tool – Ireland
A 300-sow, farrow-to-finish unit that produces its own feed. It was the first to use an innovative Biosecurity Scoring Tool (Biocheck.UGent) to review biosecurity and help identify areas they needed to improve. The ultimate aim is for improvements in biosecurity to translate into better pig health and performance, along with lower costs.
Health – reduction of antimicrobial medication: Reducing antibiotic use – Netherlands
A Dutch farmer and his team has used biosecurity to reduce use of antibiotics to a very low level in order to reduce health risks in the herd, and take a proactive approach to reducing the use of antibiotics, which has become a huge priority for veterinary and human medicine.