Dr. Bruce Mullan
Open Discussion at the International Forum on Pork Production
Bruce Mullan from the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia wrapped up Wednesday's session at the International Forum on Pork Production. He summarized some of the questions and viewpoints that rose from the day's presentations and discussions and added some observations of his own.
With regard to sow productivity and Dr. Sorensen's presentation on the topic:
- The important consideration is not just productivity but productivity vs. cost / kg of pork produced.
- It is fine to discuss the relationship between milk production and feed intake but isn't it quality of the piglet at birth that starts it all?
- Precision feeding - we have the technology but are we ready to implement it?
- Artificial rearing of piglets - it is possible but is it economic?
- Need to consider possible effects on pork quality
With regard to swine health and immunity and Dr. Gillespie's presentation:
- If you want good to great results you must understand the behaviour of the pathogens involved (shedding/persistence)
- Application of available techniques requires well trained and motivated people
- Vaccines cannot prevent infections - know the limitation of the tools that you use
- Everything can fall apart with a break in biosecurity (transport)
- We need to stop and not be so busy, to understand what is happening
- Some producers have the mindset to live with a pathogen. These producers will not be around for long
- To be able to conquer, you first must prepare through training and education on the subject
Mullan concluded by saying that the pork industry's greatest challenge is to be accepted by the public.