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Vaccine Investigators Use Bacterium's Own Protein Against It

A team of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and university scientists is investigating a new “ingredient” for use in vaccinating cattle against Johne’s disease, a chronic wasting affliction that costs the U.S. dairy industry more than $200 million per year.

The ingredient in question is a type of protein on the surface of the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), which causes Johne’s disease.

The researchers found that the protein, dubbed 35 kDa membrane peptide, helps the bacterium invade epithelial cells lining the cow's small intestine, thickening it and blocking the uptake of nutrients from feed or forage. This can lead to diarrhea, weight loss, diminished milk production and sometimes death. Calves are especially vulnerable and if their mothers are infected, they can acquire the bacterium from...

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Jun 21 2:55 PM, General News



U.S. Pork Producers Seek Main Course, Not Crumbs

Expanding U.S. export markets is vital to the success of American pork producers, but trade disputes with some of our top markets, most notably China, are hampering growth and have caused severe financial harm to U.S. hog farmers, National Pork Producers Council Vice President and Counsel of Global Government Affairs Nick Giordano said today at a Global Business Dialogue event in Washington, D.C.

“Mostly because of free trade agreements, the United States is the leading global exporter of pork. As a result, U.S. pork is an attractive candidate for trade retaliation. America’s hog farmers – and many other sectors of U.S. agriculture...

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Jun 12 8:23 AM, General News


African Swine Fever Affects China's Pork Consumption

China’s pork consumption has dropped by 10% to 15%, year-to-date, by our estimates, driven by food safety concerns. The level of consumption change varies greatly between the different distribution channels. Looking forward, and reflecting on the current situation and trends, it is quite possible we have seen the ‘peak’ of pork consumption.

Pork Consumption in China has Dropped by 10% to 15%

The losses in China’s pig herd are very difficult to estimate – estimated losses range from 20% to 70%. Data from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has the sow herd down by 22% in the year to April – this is one of the most optimistic estimates we have seen. However, hog and pork prices struggled in April and May, after a brief surge in March, raising significant questions...

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Jun 11 9:33 AM, General News


Algenex and Global DX Agree to Develop Diagnostic Products for the Detection of African Swine Fever

Algenex SL, a private biotechnology company delivering disruptive technologies for recombinant biologics production, and Global DX Ltd, a company dedicated to improving the quality of animal care by facilitating accurate diagnosis for veterinarians worldwide, today announce that they have entered into an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize diagnostic products for the detection of African Swine Fever. The first product to be developed will be a point-of-care rapid diagnostic test to identify pigs who have been exposed to the African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV). The agreement is the first collaboration between the two companies and provides the framework for further co-developments across a potentially wide range of diagnostic areas.

Under the terms of the agreement, Algenex will deliver the diagnostic reagents and Global DX will provide the technical expertise to develop and manufacture the point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests. Both companies will collaborate in the distribution of...

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May 28 2:06 PM, General News


ANALYSIS: ASF Update; Changing Global Protein Flows

At the time of this report, African Swine Fever continues to spread generally unchecked through China and has more recently expanded to the neighboring nations of Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia, in addition to the revelation that North Korea has been dealing with it since at least February. The lastest official numbers from China admit a 20.8% drop in the April hog herd vs last year and sow losses of 22.3% year over year. As China is notoriously selective with the amount and accuracy of data that they provide the world, this situation could be...

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May 28 10:05 AM, Urner Barry


China Says Making Progress on African Swine Fever Vaccine

China will start work on clinical trials of an African swine fever vaccine, state media said on Friday, as the disease continues to spread through the world’s biggest hog herd.

State-owned Harbin Veterinary Research Institute has found two vaccine candidates, proven in laboratory tests to offer immunity to the disease, China National Radio said in a post on China’s microblogging site Weibo.

“In the next step, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences will accelerate the progress of pilot and clinical trials, as well as vaccine production,” said the report...

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May 24 9:02 AM, General News


Canada, US Agree on Safe Trade Zones in Event of African Swine Fever Outbreak

Today, Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), Dr. Jaspinder Komal, working in collaboration with the United States' CVO, Dr. Jack Shere, issued the following statement:

We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have agreed to allow safe trade to continue in the event African swine fever (ASF) is reported in either country.

For business continuity, Canada and the United States have worked to modify their export certificates to allow trade of live swine, swine semen, pet food and animal by-products and meat to continue trade in approved disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak. This builds on Canada and...

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May 23 9:28 AM, General News


Restaurant Food Costs: What does ASF Mean for Protein Prices in the US?

Rabobank expects food costs in the US to increase in the second half of the year, as protein prices are impacted by stronger export demand following the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. Pork and chicken prices will be the most impacted. Beef will be the last to see increases materialize, but QSR patty prices are expected to be the most vulnerable component. If a trade agreement with China were to be brokered, price increases would be faster and steeper.

Restaurants Should Expect Rising Protein Prices

For the past two years, restaurants have been favored by a relatively benign food cost environment, which helped compensate for rising costs in other areas (labor, real estate). We expect this situation to change (for proteins) towards the second half of the year and...

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May 22 9:12 AM, General News


USDA Enhances African Swine Fever Surveillance Efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is furthering its overall African Swine Fever (ASF) preparedness efforts with the implementation of a surveillance plan. As part of this plan, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will work with the swine industry, the states, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for ASF.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs. It does not affect human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. ASF has never been detected in the United States...

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May 17 8:51 AM, Urner Barry


More Wild Boars Detected in Belgium with African Swine Fever in April and May

According to the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE), Belgium reported 18 cases of individual wild boar inflicted with African Swine Fever between April 16th and May 10th 2019. All cases were reported and resolved, meaning the affected animals were culled, on the same day. These were the first reported ASF cases in Belgium since September 2018. Belgium continues to be the Western-most European nation afflicted with ASF.

Nestled between France and Germany, these outbreaks present a very real concern for the...

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May 16 11:28 AM, Urner Barry


Research on Viral Transmission in Feedstuffs Yields New Information

With research confirming that swine viruses can be transmitted through feed and feedstuffs, new studies are looking at how to prevent the spread of foreign animal diseases, such as African swine fever (ASF), via these vehicles. Based on new research, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians have revised the information for feed holding times.

The Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), the public charity of the American Feed Industry Association, helped fund the research that resulted in the updated information that provide the best and most current understanding of viral survivability in feedstuffs and details for mitigating risk to domestic herds...

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May 8 10:19 AM, Urner Barry


Tyson says Hog Disease Impact to Linger for Years

Global meat prices are poised to rise after China culled tens of millions of hogs to contain a fast-spreading swine disease, the chief executive of Tyson Foods Inc. said.

The top U.S. meat processing company already is paying higher prices for U.S. hogs and other meat as Chinese buyers crank up purchases, Tyson executives said Monday. In the months ahead, Tyson anticipates higher meat costs for consumers, as well as stronger profits in its own pork, beef and chicken-processing operations.

Noel White, CEO of the Arkansas-based company, said the potential impact of the past year's African swine fever outbreaks was unprecedented, and could lower global meat supplies by 5% at a time when protein consumption is on the rise world-wide...

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May 6 3:07 PM, Urner Barry


Poultry is King of Proteins in International Poultry Council Outlook

As the International Poultry Council (IPC) took stock of the global protein outlook at its first semester meeting in New Orleans, La. last week, one economic reality riveted attention: Total world production of pork will decline in 2019 with poultry in position to wrest the crown from pork as the world’s most consumed meat protein.

The upheaval in meat proteins is being driven by African swine fever (ASF) in pig herds in three continents and 15 countries. Production losses in 2019 are expected to amount to 14 percent of the world’s pork supply but may continue to move higher.

“Hog losses in China due to ASF will trigger big shocks in global protein markets,” Christine McCracken, senior protein analyst at Rabobank, told IPC members, “and poultry is the meat protein with the most to win...

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Apr 26 8:23 AM, General News


PODCAST: African Swine Fever—Changing the Protein Landscape and Economy

Russell Barton sits down to discuss the severity and implications of African Swine Fever, herd losses, impact on exports, and a firming market. Also covered: Easter holiday impact on hams.

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Apr 16 9:47 AM, Urner Barry


China Reports Latest African Swine Fever Outbreak, in Far West

China on Friday said it had confirmed a new outbreak of African swine fever, in the far western region of Xinjiang, as the highly contagious disease spreads through the world’s largest hog herd.

The outbreak in Xinjiang’s Shule county has killed 92 animals on two farms with a total of 583 pigs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement on its website.

China has reported about 120 cases of ...

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Apr 12 8:28 AM, General News


Pork Checkoff Acknowledges “Tough Decision” to Cancel World Pork Expo

The National Pork Board today offered a statement of support to the National Pork Producers Council as it took the extremely rare step to cancel the 2019 World Pork Expo scheduled June 5-7, 2019, in Des Moines.

“We completely understand that to cancel World Pork Expo is a tough decision that no one wants to make,” said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “But when it comes to the ongoing spread of African swine fever in Asia and Europe, caution must come first. We stand by our pig-farming partners in doing anything we can to stem the spread of this disease.”

The Pork Checkoff has been helping to inform producers’ response to African swine fever since ...

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Apr 11 9:30 AM, General News


Rabobank: Rising African Swine Fever Losses to Lift All Protein Boats

Production losses from African swine fever (ASF) have eclipsed initial estimates. The Chinese pork production shortfall, along with shortfalls in Southeast Asia, will create challenges and opportunities for animal protein exporters.

In 2019, we expect Chinese pork production losses of 25% to 35% in response to ASF. Reports of extreme losses (over 50%) are limited to confined areas.

Sizable breeding herd losses will delay the Chinese pork industry’s recovery. Rebuilding efforts will be further complicated by the risk of recontamination, despite ...

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Apr 11 9:14 AM, General News


NPPC Cancels 2019 World Pork Expo as Precaution

The National Pork Producers Council's board of directors today announced its decision to cancel World Pork Expo 2019 out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia. World Pork Expo, held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions. African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.

"While an evaluation by veterinarians and other third-party experts concluded negligible risk associated with holding the event, we have decided to exercise extreme caution ...

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Apr 10 8:15 AM, General News


USDA Shifts Emergency Funds to Address Virulent Newcastle Disease in California

Secretary Perdue is making available an additional $45 million to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its partners to address the ongoing virulent Newcastle disease (vND) outbreak in southern California. This funding will allow APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to strengthen their joint efforts to stop the spread of this disease and prevent it from affecting additional commercial flocks. vND has been confirmed in more than 435 backyard flocks since May 2018. It was also confirmed in four commercial flocks in December 2018 and January 2019.

“Virulent Newcastle disease is a serious concern for our nation’s poultry industry and we need to step up our response in order to keep this disease out of additional commercial flocks,” said Greg Ibach, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.  “At this point, the trade impacts of this outbreak are ...

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Mar 25 9:17 AM, General News


NPPC Statement on Illegal Pork Seizure 

On March 15, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it intercepted a large shipment of illegal pork products from China before it could enter the United States. The contraband shipment, which will be safely and securely destroyed in accordance with U.S. government policy, reportedly contained products derived from pork, such as flavorings in ramen noodles, and did not include fresh meat. It is illegal to import pork products from countries, like China, that are positive for African swine fever (ASF), a disease that only affects pigs and that poses no human health or food safety risks, to the United States. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) issued the following statement.

“Preventing the spread of African swine fever to the United States is our top priority. We are thankful to CBP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their increased vigilance and the expanded resources they have put in place to prevent ...

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Mar 18 12:39 PM, General News




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