World meat industry news

All news / First PRRS-Resistant Pigs Bred

  • 16 Dec 2015, 10:22

There was big news from Genus this week after it announced that it has produced the first ever pigs resistant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), in collaboration with the University of Missouri, US.

Precise gene editing was used to breed pigs that do not produce a specific protein necessary for the PRRS virus to spread in the animals.

The early stage studies conducted by the University demonstrate these PRRS resistant pigs, when exposed to the virus, do not get sick and continue to gain weight normally.

Also in the news this past week, the World Trade Organisation (WTO)announced the amount that Canada and Mexico can claim from the US in retaliatory tariffs, due to Country of Origin Labelling (COOL).

Canada can suspend tariff concessions and other trade obligations to the US to the value of C$1,054.729 million, whilst Mexico can do so to the value of US$227.758 million.

The two countries must ask the WTO again for approval before the new tariffs can be activated, however.

Following the announcement, the US National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) renewed its call for Congress to repeal labelling requirements for beef, pork and poultry.

Canada’s beef and pork sectors welcomed the decision.

In other news, a new study has shown that feeding pigs food waste could be safely reintroduced in the EU.

Feeding pigswill is currently banned in the EU after concerns of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) spread back in 2001.

However, by using 'heat-treating' technology, which is currently used in East Asia, food waste could be safely turned into pig feed.

The report notes that using this technology would save around 1.8 million hectares of land from being stripped for grain and soybean-based pig feed production - including over quarter of a million hectares of Brazilian forest and savannah. 

In disease news, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) will become a notifiabledisease in England from Friday 18 December 2015.