GFM Network News


Both Canada and the U.S. are taking new measures to ensure viruses — such as the one that causes African swine fever — don’t get into pig herds through contaminated feed or feed supplements.

Contaminated feed a risk that can’t be ignored, says expert

It’s clear that viruses, including African swine fever, can be transmitted via feed ingredients

Reading Time: 3 minutes New research is showing that animal feed can carry viruses, including the one that causes African swine fever. It’s a threat that must be thwarted, Scott Dee, veterinarian and director of applied research for Minnesota-based Pipestone Veterinary Services, told attendees at the virtual 2021 Banff Pork Seminar in January. “We’ve got to work together,” said […] Read more

The ability to produce new vaccines is improving by leaps and bounds, says Volker Gerdts, head of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan.

In the fast-evolving field of vaccines, Prairie lab is at the cutting edge

VIDO is known for its work in animal health, but it’s developing a COVID-19 vaccine and a production facility

Reading Time: 3 minutes At a time when the entire world has never been more focused on vaccine development, one of Canada’s leading researchers in the field had some positive words on the subject for delegates to the 2021 Banff Pork Seminar. In his presentation, Volker Gerdts pointed to the mRNA technology used to develop the first two COVID-19 […] Read more


This 2016 photo showing feral and domestic pigs mingling is from www.wildpigscanada.ca, a website created by the University of Saskatchewan’s Wildlife Ecology and Community Engagement research group headed by Ryan Brook. The website has information on characteristics and behaviour, signs of the animals’ presence, and control methods.

Wild pig problem in the spotlight at pork conference

The number of feral pigs is growing here and playing a key role in the African swine fever epidemic elsewhere

Reading Time: 4 minutes (Editor’s note: The following is an abridged and edited version of two articles. The full versions can be found at meristem.com by clicking on the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar link.) Two presentations at the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar highlighted the threat posed by wild boars. Ryan Brook, a University of Saskatchewan associate professor and wildlife […] Read more

Aherne Prize winners announced

Reading Time: < 1 minute A low-stress restraint for pigs and a device to reduce pre-wean mortality were the co-winners of this year’s F. X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production presented earlier this month at the Banff Pork Seminar. The Hammock Swine Restraint Device was developed by Tess Faulkner and Gillian Greaves of South West Ontario Veterinary Services. It […] Read more


Alternative meat company Quorn has dozens of products in its faux chicken lineup. The product is made from a ‘mycoprotein,’ which is derived from a soil fungus fermented in vats and is high in protein and fibre.

There’s more vegetarians, but also more meat eaters looking for change

‘Flexitarians’ still want to eat meat but they also want to ‘feel good about eating,’ says marketing expert

Reading Time: 2 minutes The number of vegans and vegetarians is growing, but confirmed meat eaters will remain and possibly look at higher-end cuts of meat, says an international food-marketing expert. But the middle is where it gets interesting — with “flexitarians” looking for good sources of protein and willing to have a mix of plant and animal proteins, […] Read more

The Pig Cough Monitor employs microphones in the barn and an algorithm to detect respiratory problems in pigs long before symptoms of the illness would be noticeable to humans.

‘Smart barn’ technology is on its way for pork producers

Sensors and software monitor pigs — and workers — in real time and in new ways

Reading Time: 2 minutes There is no argument new smart technologies are coming in swine production, says an expert in monitoring and task automation in livestock facilities. Tom Stein, senior strategic adviser for Quebec-based Maximus Systems, gave nine examples of “smart barn” technologies already in use or on the way at the recent Banff Pork Seminar. “One must remember, these […] Read more



Cattle transportation is under increasing scrutiny and truckers need to know proper loading techniques, says Rick Sincennes.

Taking a proactive approach to cattle transportation

Understanding cattle behaviour and adjusting density according to cattle type are key to proper transportation

Reading Time: 3 minutes When cattle trucker Rick Sincennes started in the business more than 30 years ago it was a different world. Today animal welfare is a profile issue in the public eye, animal activists are putting pressure on producers and the people involved in cattle transportation have an entirely different level of responsibility for themselves and their […] Read more


University of Alberta-led swine study tackles next health frontier

University of Alberta-led swine study tackles next health frontier

Study focuses on using genomic tools to protect swine exposed to multiple disease threats

Reading Time: 2 minutes If Canada is going to maintain a successful position in the global pork marketplace, swine health and animal care promises to be one of the deciding factors. Sustainable production and competitive pricing will be priorities and swine health and welfare is both a social requirement and necessity for sustainable production. Porcine health management represents a […] Read more

pork processing facility

The future continues to look bright for pork producers

While it’s not entirely smooth sailing, the ‘optimistic sentiment’ in the 
industry is well founded, two experts told the Banff Pork Seminar

Reading Time: 3 minutes The animal welfare issue won’t derail a positive outlook for Canada’s pork industry, says an American agriculture economist. “There is a very optimistic sentiment today in the entire pork industry — I think we’re going to expand pork production throughout North America,” Glynn Tonsor of Kansas State University said at the recent 2015 Banff Pork […] Read more