2015 Manipulating Pig Production XV

The Australasian Pig Science Association held its inaugural conference in 1987 with the aims of encouraging and promoting scientific discussion and collaboration amongst scientists interested in pig research and pig production.

Conferences are held every two years and the Proceedings are published as hardbound monographs and in an electronic form with a common title: Manipulating Pig Production. The proceedings are recognised worldwide as a leading conference publication, with all symposia, reviews and one page papers undergo extensive scientific review prior to acceptance in the proceedings. This ensures the quality of the papers continues to be of the highest standard.

The selected proceedings are only for the use of the purchaser and should not be shared without prior agreement from APSA.
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2015 Manipulating Pig Production XV

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We have SOLD OUT of the 2015 Hardcopy Proceedings, if you wish to purchase a copy please visit the Animal Production Science website.


APSA Biennial Conference, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 22nd to 25th November, 2015

APSA is pleased to announce for the first time, the conference proceedings will be published in full as a Special Issue of Animal Production Science. This move to publication in a journal will provide greater exposure for APSA and ensure our authors are more widely recognised for their outstanding scientific contributions. Please note due to this change, One page papers are now referred to as Extended Abstracts.

APSA's 2015 conference will highlight the recent advances in pig science from within Australia and around the globe. A summary of a selection of the reviews and symposia from Manipulating Pig Production XV are presented below.

Dunkin Lecture - Entire male pig production in Europe

Speaker - Dr Giuseppe Bee  

In 2010 various members of the European Union agreed to phase out piglet castration by January 1st 2018, and as an intermediate step, surgical castration without analgesia and/or anaesthesia by January 2012.  With the 2018 deadline approaching, Dr Bee will provide an update on how the various countries in the EU are addressing the issue, including the meat quality and consumer acceptance concerns around possible alternatives.

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Symposium: Impact of heat stress on performance and health of pigs

Speakers - Dr Jason Ross, Dr Nick Gabler and Professor Frank Dunshea

Performance, health and wellbeing of pigs are significantly compromised at all stages of the production cycle due to acute or chronic heat stress, the incidence of which is occurring in many pig producing countries including Australia and is gradually increasing with the global climate changes.

Dr Jason Ross and his colleagues at Iowa State University have recently documented the negative impacts of heat stress on the reproduction performance and health of gilts and sows, including the effects of in utero heat stress on progeny development. Dr Ross’s paper and presentation will highlight the physiological changes caused by heat stress and will specifically discuss the changes in lifetime performance and body composition of the progenies that were exposed to heat stress during gestation.

Dr Nick Gabler and his colleagues at Iowa State University will discuss the impact of heat stress on performance and intestinal health of wean to finish pigs. Specifically Dr Gabler’s presentation will highlight the impact of heat stress on intestinal barrier integrity, endotoxin translocation, and glucose transportation.

Professor Frank Dunshea at University of Melbourne will present nutritional strategies that will mitigate the negative impact of heat stress on production efficiency, health and wellbeing of pigs. The roles of nutrition and individual nutrients to counteract the altered physiological responses under heat stress will be covered.

Symposium: Classification and function of non-starch carbohydrate (fibre)

Speakers - Dr Mingan Choct, Dr Jane Muir and Dr Robert Pieper

There are over 5 different major categories of fibre or non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), and within these different classes of NSP, the carbohydrate still has largely different properties such as solubility in water, rate of fermentation, inert or highly active in the GI tract.

The main issue in commercial pig nutrition is the functional or characteristics of NSP are not considered at all. Moreover, the most popular description of NSP is crude fibre, which only measures the undigested non starch polysaccharides and lignin in the diet, and lignin is not actually NSP.

Depending on the class, size and branching of NSP, it can improve gut health, feed intake and FCR while others decrease feed intake, produce scours and significantly reduce rate of digestion and feed efficiency. Therefore it is very important to know the properties of NSP and how it can be used to optimise microfloria populations to create a stable gut environment, improve digestion, health and growth performance.

Three experts in the field of NSP nutrition in monogastics, Professor Mingan Choct, Dr Robert Pieper and Dr Jane Muir will describe the different categories and properties of NSP, how it stimulates or changes microfloria dynamics and diet digestion by using the pig, the bird and the human as models are their respective fields of research.

Review: Mating in lactation – an opportunity to revolutionise sow management?

Speaker - Dr Jeff Downing

Novel techniques to facilitate mating in lactation have been the focus of a research program within the Pork CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork.  The aims of the program were to reduce the requirement for sow confinement as well as improve the performance of progeny post weaning by facilitating a controlled, gradual weaning process.  Dr Jeff Downing has been a key driver of this research program and will review the outcomes to date, discuss the application of mating in lactation for commercial genotypes and also his views on how the industry may be best placed to adopt this technology.

Review: Selection for productivity and robustness traits in pigs

Speaker - Dr Susanne Hermesch

Selection for efficiency and productivity has been the long-term focus of pig breeding programs worldwide leading to considerable genetic gains in pig production. These genetic improvements in efficiency and productivity, however, have high physiological demands which may have unfavourable consequences for the robustness of animals.  Breeding programs around the world are now focused on improving both productivity and robustness simultaneously by extending selection emphasis to a wider range of traits. Dr Hermesch will review the recent advances in this area and discuss possible strategies to incorporate genotype by environment interactions and selection for disease resistance and resilience in current breeding programs. 

Review: Antibiotic stewardship

Speakers - Dr John Turnidge and Dr Bernie Gleeson

The natural ability of bacteria to develop resistance to antimicrobials necessitates the prudent use of antimicrobials to ensure they remain effective in the treatment of diseases in both humans and animals. Although the majority of antibiotic resistance in human medicine is due to human consumption of antibiotics, there is increasing pressure on veterinarians to reduce the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals.

Dr John Turnidge from the National surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic usage program will discuss antimicrobial stewardship, defined as the optimal selection, dosage and duration of antimicrobial treatment that results in the best clinical outcome for the treatment or prevention of infection, with minimal impact on the development of resistance. 

Dr Bernie Gleeson from SunPork Farms will examine the question of whether antibiotic-free pork is possible. What alternatives do we have and what do we still need?  The presentation will cover the role of diagnostics, immunity, nutrition, genetics, housing, stockperson training, location and production flows on disease control and the associated production benefits and costs.