Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Active & Recently Completed

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals twice a year (fall and spring). These projects were approved for funding by the board on recommendation of the research committee. If you have questions or need further information about the research posted here please contact Kathy Zurbrigg at

Streptococcus suis intestinal infection: myth or real threat?

Project 17-018 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Matheus Costa, University of Saskatchewan

This collaborative proposal will investigate whether or not Streptococcus suis (S. suis) can infect pigs via the oral (gastrointestinal) route. The oral route of infection has been associated with streptococcus meningitis in humans. While S. suis can be found in the pig intestine, the relevance...

Strategies for detoxifying vomitoxin using innovative chemical and biological approaches in post-weaning piglets

Project 17-022 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Joshua Gong, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph

The contamination of feed with the mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON), has detrimental effects on the production of farm animals, with pigs being the most susceptible. Typical negative effects of mycotoxin consumption includes reduced feed intake, digestive dysfunction (e.g. gastroenteritis,...

Relationship between feed, genetics, health, and growth performance up to market weight in pigs

Project 15-015 - Researchers: Brandon Lillie and Vahab Farzan, University of Guelph

Reduction of the pig production through novel feeding strategies is currently an active research topic.  A study by Kees de Lange that was conducted under controlled conditions at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, indicated that lower-cost, reduced animal-protein...

Reducing pathogens and greenhouse gas emissions from swine manure using anaerobic digestion

Project 17-006 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Brandon Gilroyed, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus

Pork production contributes about 9% of total manure production in the Canadian livestock sector. During storage and land application manure undergoes natural degradation leading to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as methane(CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as pollutants such...

Precision Feeding of Gestating Sows: Use of Electronic Sow Feeders to Reduce Feed Costs and Nutrient Losses into the Environment, While Improving Sow Productivity and Welfare

Project 16-004 - Researchers: Ira Mandell and Lee-Ann Huber, University of Guelph

The ultimate goal of this work is to examine how sow management using ESF can influence lifetime sow productivity and retention in the herd, and carry-over effects on to her progeny.

Nitrogen Requirements and Utilization in Growing Pigs: Research into reduced feed costs and environmental impact of nitrogen

Project 11-005 - Lead Researcher: Kees de Lange, University of Guelph

Feed costs are the single largest contributor to the cost of pork production.  After energy, amino acids and protein are the largest contributors to nutrient costs of pig diets. Researchers at the University of Guelph investigated the digestibility and efficiency of feeding growing pigs...

Evaluation of analgesia efficacy in piglets undergoing castration and processing through the scoring of pain related behaviours

Project 14-006 - Researcher: Dr. Pat Turner

Facial behaviours such as ear position, are increasingly being used to assess pain in animals. The development of a facial behaviour scale could lead to an easy and quick way to help producers to determine subtle cases when an animal is in pain and needs treatment.

Establishing value/utility of soluble CD163 as a biomarker for predicting PRRS-induced disease severity in swine herds

Project 17-011 - Lead Researcher: Dr. John Harding, University of Saskatchewan

The swine industry is economically burdened by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and PRRSV-induced coinfections partly due to the lack of fully protective vaccines and also by the absence of a reliable method to distinguish disease-susceptible (moderately to severely affected...

Establishing sensitivity and specificity of using rope samples (saliva) to test for PRRS virus antibodies

Project 17-016 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Tim Blackwell

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) causes disease and economic losses on swine farms. Producers strive to eradicate the virus if geographically feasible or “stabilize” the sow herd through vaccination or intentional field virus exposure. A cornerstone of any PRRS...

Efficacy of exogenous alkaline phosphatases to improve growth performances in pigs

Project 17-032 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Ming Fan, University of Guelph

The effects of systemic inflammation are well documented to adversely affect efficiency of energy and nitrogen utilization in pigs.  Weaned and grow-finish pigs are likely commonly experiencing mild inflammatory responses within the body, to the various challenges they experience (stress at...

Effects of improved design trailers on the welfare of pigs transported under Canadian transport and climate conditions

Project 17-012 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Luigi Faucitano

Pig losses during transit are largely dependent on vehicle design. This is particularly the case in Canada where most pigs are transported in pot-belly (PB) trailers. This vehicle type is questioned as it is not easy to load and unload due to the presence of multiple and steep ramps and provides...

Development of evidence-based mental health literacy program and emergency mental health response model for Ontario agriculture

Project 16-014 - Lead researcher: Andrea Jones-Bitton, University of Guelph

Farming is recognized as a stressful occupation both in the routine daily tasks and during an emergency. For livestock producers, disease outbreaks can have significant economic and emotional consequences stemming from the loss of production and the loss of animals through mortalities and the...

Comparison of single timed artificial insemination (AI) in gilts using OvuGel-ELANCO (triptorelin acetate) or PG600-MERCK (eCG/pLH) to synchronize ovulation

Project 16-003 - Lead Researcher: Bob Friendship

Optimal sow fertility is during the 24-hour period before ovulation. Use of the ovulation synchronization protocols may be a good tool for producers looking for options to improve overall herd reproductive performance or reduce their time in the breeding barn

Canadian Health Claim Feasibility Assessment Report for Pork Products

Project:13-008 - Researchers: Krista Coventry-Nutrasource Diagnostics

Identifying possible opportunities to make health claims and the steps needed to position pork as a healthful and nutritious protein option may be one way to promote and increase domestic pork consumption. In particular a proven health claim to pork could be used to contest recent research...

Assessing the efficacy of ketoprofen and meloxicam when mixed with iron dextran on pain relief following castration in piglets

Project 16-011-Lead researcher: Terri O’Sullivan

The Canadian Code of Practice for the Handling and Care of Pigs states that pigs are to receive analgesics (pain control medication) to control post-procedural pain. The pain control medications ketoprofen (Anafen®) and meloxicam (Metacam®), are approved for use in pigs in Canada. The...

An investigation into the effects of in-feed zinc oxide on antimicrobial resistant bacteria

Project 13-011 - Lead Researcher: Bob Friendship

Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacteria that is the leading cause of skin infections and pneumonia in people. The increase in drug-resistant bacteria such as Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have increased the burden on healthcare systems due to an inability to find an...