Page 2 - Australian Pork Newspaper
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Pig Industry Calendar of Events
AUG 21 - 24 – Digestive Physiology of Pigs, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane QLD
SEP 17 - 19 – VIV China, Nanjing International Exhibition Centre (NIEC), China aspx
SEP 25 - 27 – PorkExpo 2018 Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
OCT 17 - 19 – Vietstock Expo & Forum, Saigon, Vietnam
NOV 11- 14 – Space 2018, Rennes, Francia, France
NOV 13 - 16 – EuroTier, Hannover, Germany
NOV 15 - 18 – Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, Saint Paul, Minnesota, US leman-swine-conference
NOV 19 – National Pig Awards, London UK
APR 7 - 9 – Livestock Asia 2020, Malacca, Malaysia www.
JUN5-6–WorldPorkExpo,Des Moines, Iowa US
How to supply event details: Send all details to Australian Pork Newspaper, PO Box 387, Cleveland, Qld 4163, call 07 3286 1833 fax: 07 3821 2637, email:
07 3286 1833
MANY of you may be aware that Australian Pork Limited is leading the project, ‘Enhancing supply chain profitabili- ty through reporting and utilisation of peri-mor- tem information by live- stock producers’ funded under round two of the Department of Agricul- ture and Water Resourc- es’ Rural Research and Development for P rofit program.
This four-year cross- sectoral project com- menced in July 2016 and is a partnership between Australian Meat Proces- sor Corporation, Austral- ian Pork Limited, Meat & Livestock Australia, the South Australian Re- search & Development Institute and the Victorian Government Department of Economic Develop- ment, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
As this title is wordy, the project is more commonly referred to as the ‘Health 4 Wealth’ project.
The H4W project is fo- cused on providing ani- mal health information collected by processors to producers.
I know many producers will already be receiving partial carcass condem- nation information from processors when issues are identified on the slaughter floor, in addi- tion to the mandatory to- tal condemnation reports (when this occurs).
However, a cost-benefit study conducted by David Hamilton and David Hud- son (as part of APL pro- ject 2015-2209) showed the number of conditions being reported by the seven export pork estab- lishments ranged from seven to 42 and there was no consistency in those pathological conditions/ diseases being recorded between the plants.
This reflects that the re- cording reporting of rea- sons for partial condem- nation information to pro- ducers and regulators by processors is voluntary.
It also highlighted that a uniform standard or lan- guage for meat inspectors
by HEATHER CHANNON Research and Innovation General Manager
could be used to consist- ently record reasons for carcass and/or offal con- demnation of pigs to be established (at least for an agreed ‘core’ set of condi- tions/diseases).
Overall, the project aims to develop and validate species-specific standards for the consistent report- ing, recording and analy- sis of disease-related peri- mortem information for use by producers, proces- sors, regulators and other key stakeholders.
It’s anticipated that by implementing a standard- ised recording language for collection as well as the timely provision of information collected, producers and their vet- erinarians will be better informed of their herd health status, which may then improve on-farm productivity as well as re- duce losses (and costs) as- sociated with carcass and/ or offal condemnation on the slaughter floor.
So, what progress has been made to date?
Initially, a business case was undertaken that es- timated the total oppor- tunity per annum from a fully operative peri-mor- tem information system for the pork industry was in the vicinity of $11.2 million or $2.10 per pig.
The accuracy of the in- spection decision by meat inspectors and what data is captured were identi- fied as key areas for focus to extract as much value from the system for pro- ducers as possible.
To address this, a unit of competency for inspec- tion personnel involved in animal health data col- lection is now under way
with the National Meat Industry Training Advi- sory Council Ltd (MIN- TRAC).
MINTRAC represents the meat industry on train- ing matters and its role is to improve the skills of workers in the industry by providing recognised and accredited training from entry level through to sen- ior management.
Agreement of those pathological conditions and diseases identifiable on the slaughter floor that could be regarded as the core or base conditions to possibly be included in a national system for pork was the focus of a work- shop hosted by SARDI and held in March 2018 in Adelaide.
This workshop included producer, processor, APL, regulator (state and fed- eral) and Animal Health Australia representatives.
Conditions, definitions, advice for producers on how to use the data, con- demnation reasons, report- ing, who pays, ownership of the data and opportunities to support disease surveil- lance requirements were all discussed.
This workshop followed widespread consultation over the past 12 months with processors through MINTRAC meetings and industry forums.
To assist with this, two international speakers, Dr Derk Oorburg from Vion Food Group in the Neth- erlands and Dr Eric Neu- mman from Epi-Insight in New Zealand, shared their experiences with pig health feedback systems.
Derk provided an over- view of the Vion Food Group company structure,
before outlining the ani- mal health data that is col- lected in the Netherlands, what type of information is reported back to pro- ducers and how, before finishing with the next steps and lessons learnt.
Vion Food Group views its animal health feedback system as vital for build- ing and maintaining its reputation and responsi- bility for food safety con- trol, animal welfare, bio- security and market ac- cess – “producing a Dutch pig fit for a world market”.
Derk provided examples of the conditions reported back to the farmer, how this data is collected as well as additional data of importance to the proces- sor to improve slaughter management and process control.
In summary, the col- lected information has to be relevant and data col- lection needs to be easy, objective and uniform in order to deliver higher efficiency, yield improve- ments for the farmer and once collected, the data is used several times so all stakeholders benefit.
PigCheck is New Zea- land’s abattoir disease monitoring system in the pig industry.
It is a user-pays system that became fully opera- tional in 2000.
Eric outlined how pig health and quality data are recorded on an animal- level basis using touch- screens and also the list of conditions currently re- corded and reported.
PigCheck is used to esti- mate national prevalence levels for different diseas- es and health conditions.
Eric highlighted the is- sue related to perceived variation between inspec- tors and plants.
Overall, excellent pro- gress has been made, with the following conditions agreed: abscess, anaemia, arthritis, ascarids, bruis- ing, colitis, contamina- tion, dermatitis, fever, ile- itis, melanoma, nephritis, pericarditis, peritonitis, pleurisy, pneumonia and ante-mortem emergency kill reason (tail bite, her-
nia, orchitis).
These are the conditions
collectively identified as the key conditions to be included in a base list that pork abattoirs, both ex- port and domestic, should report back to pig produc- ers to give farmers the opportunity to initiate on- farm decisions to further improve their on-farm health status, productivity and profitability.
Importantly, the timely provision of this infor- mation to producers can support animal health de- cisions made by veterinar- ians but would not reduce the usefulness of abattoir visits by veterinarians to investigate significant dis- ease situations.
With these conditions agreed, the next steps are to trial the adoption of these conditions in several abattoirs; provide uniform feedback on the conditions identified to producers (along with information on how they can improve their systems); measure how the conditions and feed- back have brought about improvement; and identify the net industry benefits arising from the system from information collected through these trials.
SARDI and APL are working with processors to establish these trials, with this work expected to be completed over the next 12 months.
With the involvement of the red meat sector in this project, a standardised species-specific language will also be trialled in sheep and beef processing establishments.
It is hoped the outcomes from the H4W project, combined with other work being done in the pork and red meat sector, will be able to be used to dem- onstrate the health status of Australian pork, beef, goat meat and sheep meat for market access pur- poses.
For further informa- tion on any of the topics discussed in this article, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0423 056 045 or heather.channon@
Gaining value from animal health information
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Page 2 – Australian Pork Newspaper, July 2018

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