30 November 2001

FIGHTING SPIRIT TO THE FORE

Thankfully, the pig industry didnt suffer the cullings experienced by other livestock sectors during foot-and-mouth. And cull sows are finally moving off units, freeing up labour and space for replacement gilts. However, this does not dismiss the economic and welfare implications created by movement restrictions.

Pig producers are renowned for their battling spirit and they are certainly having to draw on reserves at the moment. But there is some optimism, with contracts being offered by processors for finished pigs, which act as insurance against sharp falls in pigmeat prices.

This battling spirit has also been seen in the work of The National Pig Association. As it celebrates its second anniversary, this Update highlights its achievements, ambitions and Winnie the Pigs contribution.

But the continuing scourge of wasting diseases still marches on. Although there are still few real solutions, one vet can offer some tips on hygiene and production systems to reduce their incidence, based on his practice experience.

Also in this issue is advanced warning of a potential shake-up in the way carcasses are graded and valued. We ask who will be the winners and losers? And with winter upon us, we find out why temperatures in housing become an even more important health and production issue.

Market round-up 3

NPAs ambitions revealed 4

Combat wasting disease on farm 6

Wet feeding reduces costs 8

Pigs want choice not space 10

Housing temperatures vital 11

Shake-up for grading 12

Commit to a five-year contract 13

Outdoor feeding kit eases task 14

Edited by Hannah Velten