Organizers are hoping that improvements made to this year’s show and general optimism in the industry will give attendance a boost
by SUSAN MANN
The Junior Barrow Show is returning this year to the Ontario Pork Congress, being held June 19 and 20 at the Rotary Complex in Stratford.
In the past, the show was always held two weeks ahead of the congress due to biosecurity concerns, says pork congress president Adam Rae. This time, the show is being held on the second day of the congress, Canada’s largest pork-specific trade show, so anyone concerned about biosecurity can come on the first day, June 19.
Researchers are finding that farmers and stock people previously reluctant to euthanize animals are more willing to do it using the Zephyr gun they have developed
by MIKE MULHERN
An air-powered stun gun called the Zephyr could become the instrument of choice for pig farmers and stock workers to euthanize young pigs up to nine kilograms.
Tina Widowski, a professor in the department of poultry and animal sciences at the University of Guelph and the director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, is the principal investigator looking into the effectiveness of the Zephyr and its ease of use for stock workers and farmers.
Our producers will need to assess their production practices and market levels as continued pressure is placed on welfare issues by our export partners
by JIM DALRYMPLE
Many countries, including some of Canada’s trading partners, are considering major changes related to swine housing, management and production in general. These changes will affect the production systems used on Canadian farms, particularly if Canada wishes to continue exports of breeding stock, weaner pigs, live market hogs and pork products.
Inventories in Quebec have declined less than in the rest of the country and slaughter capacity is available to take Ontario hogs. But, as of 2011, they will no longer be insurable under ASRA
by SUZANNE DEUTSCH
The drop in inventory in Quebec hogs means there is plenty of room there for Ontario hogs, according to Bernard Verret, general manager of the Quebec Federation of Pork Producers (QFPP).
In times of extreme adversity, an industry that has done much to improve the health and quality of its products deserves the full support of governments and consumers
by JIM DALRYMPLE
From production to processing, the Ontario pork industry has seen dramatic changes over the past few decades.
As with most other major farm commodities, the number of pork producers has fallen substantially, both in Ontario and across Canada.
In 1951, 364,068 farms in Canada reported pigs with an average of 13.5 pigs per farm.
That’s the message of speakers at the London Swine Conference to producers coping with today’s ‘hyperprolific’ sow
by KATE PROCTER
The challenges of managing large litter sizes have become more common as sows have become more prolific. The race to increase litter size and pigs weaned per sow per year has left some wondering if piglet viability has been sacrificed. In addition, the sow of 2010 is not the same animal as she was 20 years ago; she requires specialized management techniques.
With DNA markers, researchers can greatly improve the accuracy of selecting for specific traits, such as meat quality, disease resistance and robustness of the animal
by SERGE POMMIER
When people ask me about the importance of genetic markers, they often bring up the halothane gene. Would greater focus on developing genetic markers help us discover more of these revolutionary genes? Would these markers transform genetic development and help us develop a super pig, one with improved meat quality, robustness, feed conversion and disease resistance?