The Pig Site – A study at Leeds University in the UK shows it is important for farmers to provide outdoor sows with methods to keep themselves comfortable throughout the year and, crucially, not only during the summer months. Painting outdoor huts white and insulation help to keep sows both comfortable and productive, while wallows and sprinklers need to be provided early in the year and throughout the summer months … Continue Reading
Source: The Pig Site, November 21, 2013
The Pig Site – Swine dysentery (SD) is a severe mucohaemorrhagic diarrheal disease of swine that has been recognised since the 1920s and is classically associated with infection by Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. Clinical SD is typically observed in growing and finishing pigs and often results in severe economic losses in affected herds. By the mid-1990s, the prevalence of clinical dysentery in US swine herds had fallen to such low levels that the disease was considered by many to be one of historical importance but of minimal threat to the US industry going forward. This was due, at least in part, to successful implementation of effective treatment, control and elimination methods for Brachyspira spp., specifically B. hyodysenteriae…… continue reading
Source: The Pig Site, October 9th, 2013
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By P.J. Huffstutter of Reuters
MSN News — The sudden and widespread appearance of a swine virus deadly to young pigs – one never before seen in North America – is raising questions about the bio-security shield designed to protect the U.S. food supply.
The swine-only virus, the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), poses no danger to humans or other animals, and the meat from infected pigs is safe for people to eat.
Though previously seen in parts of Asia and Europe, the virus now has spread into five leading hog-raising U.S. states. How it arrived in the United States remains a mystery.
While the U.S. imports millions of pigs each year from Canada, it imports pigs from virtually no other country, and no Canadian cases of PEDV have been confirmed. Veterinarians and epidemiologists say pigs are infected through oral means, and that the virus is not airborne and does it not occur spontaneously in nature.
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Source and Photo: MSN News, 29th May, 2013
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OLYMPIA, Wash. — With Washington state about to embark on a first-of-its-kind legal market for recreational marijuana, the budding ranks of new cannabis growers face a quandary over what to do with the excess stems, roots and leaves from their plants.
Susannah Gross, who owns a five-acre farm north of Seattle, is part of a group experimenting with a solution that seems to make the most of marijuana’s appetite-enhancing properties – turning weed waste into pig food.
Four pigs whose feed was supplemented with potent plant leavings during the last four months of their lives ended up 20 to 30 pounds heavier than the half-dozen other pigs from the same litter when they were all sent to slaughter in March.
“They were eating more, as you can imagine,” Gross said.
Giving farm animals the munchies is the latest outcome of a ballot measure passed by Washington voters in November making their state one of the first to legalize the recreational use of pot. The other was Colorado. Both were among about 20 states with medical marijuana laws already on their books…>>Continue reading<<
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By Jon Cohen
Science – As many an influenza researcher has observed, the virus that they study is predictably unpredictable. But when a bird flu virus makes the jump to people, it’s easy to predict how humans will react: Pandemic jitters will reverberate around the world, media will scrutinize the actions of public officials, and investigators will begin racing to answer questions about the virus’s origins, spread, and potential threat. Continue reading
By Jill U Adams
Science – The stench of a large hog farm may seem nauseating, but a study now suggests that hog farm emissions—which include dust, irritants, allergens, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and hundreds of volatile organic compounds—could have a measurable impact on human health. Neighbors of such farms experience a rise in blood pressure when the farm odor is strong, researchers found.
Industrial-scale farms that raise animals for food—called concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), in the parlance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—have a number of documented impacts on the environment, mostly from the massive quantities of manure they produce. That waste, which contains microbes that can make humans sick, is collected in open pits or sprayed on fields as fertilizer, risking contamination of the air, water, and soil….. >>Read More<<
Source and Photos: Science, November 7th, 2012
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