Disease hitting Chinese hogs sure to spread in Asia

The world's leading hog producer, China has culled nearly 40,000 hogs in its attempts to stop African swine fever since the disease, deadly for hogs but no threat to humans, was spotted on its farms last month. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said the disease will almost certainly emerge in other countries in Asia.

Researchers say China can cut soybean imports

Hogs and chickens can be raised successfully on low-protein rations if amino acids are added to their feed at particular stages of their growth, according to research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. As a result, China, the world's largest importer of soybeans which is also in a trade war with the United States, could reduce its use of the oilseed by 5-7 percent, said the Xinhua news agency.

Spanish pigs touch down in Georgia, birthing a new ham

For centuries, a coveted type of ham — jamón ibérico de bellota — has been produced from a special breed of pigs in Spain. Now a Georgia farmer is aiming to create an American version of the iconic food, writes Maryn McKenna in FERN’s latest story, produced with Eater. No paywall

Demand for humane practices raise questions for pig industry

Consumers want more humanely raised meat and food companies want to provide it. Now pig producers are promising more humane measures in the way they raise pigs. But just what those measures will be remains a question in an industry still dominated by the sow gestation crate, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Pig-related infections spread in Denmark, may be in U.S. too

A recent study from Denmark shows that a strain of drug-resistant staph carried by pigs is causing severe illnesses in people who have no contact with pigs or farms. The infections have occurred even though Denmark has some of the most stringent controls on antibiotic use and the study’s …

Smithfield gets into the organ-transplant business

Smithfield Farms, the world’s largest pork producer, is launching a bioscience arm to ramp up company sales of pig parts for medical procedures. The $14-billion subsidiary of China’s WH Group hopes to one day offer pig organs for human transplants.

Pig CAFOs influence timing of human flu seasons, study shows

The enormous numbers of animals concentrated in industrial pig farms are changing the pattern of flu seasons, by providing flu viruses a place to jump between humans and animals and multiply faster than they otherwise would, according to new research from North Carolina — a state that is second only to Iowa in pig production.

North Carolina pork industry: ‘Much less damage’ than in previous storms

In the floods caused by Hurricane Matthew, manure lagoons on North Carolina hog farms "withstood the storm remarkably well," said the North Carolina Pork Council. Fourteen lagoons were flooded and only one lagoon was partially breached — on a farm that has not housed hogs "for more than five years, significantly minimizing the environmental impact."

To reduce antibiotic use, feed your sows some seaweed

Researchers at University College in Dublin, Ireland say that feeding seaweed, a popular ingredient in ancient Chinese medicine, to sows can improve the health of their offspring and reduce the use of antimicrobials, says the Aberdeen (Scotland) Press and Journal.

USDA finds second pig sample with ‘superbug’ gene

Government scientists found the MCR-1 gene, which allows bacteria to overcome the last-resort antibiotics used against disease in humans, in a sample taken from a different pig than the first U.S. discovery, said a CDC official. The initial case, reported on the same day as discovery of a Pennsylvania woman with an infection that carried the MCR-1 gene, raised fears of "superbug" bacteria resistant to a broad array of antimicrobials.