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Experts address sow housing

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[March 11, 2009]  URBANA -- A hot topic in the pork industry, group housing of sows, will be addressed March 19 during a meeting at the University of Illinois Extension office on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

"This topic continues to generate much discussion in the industry," explained Hans Stein, U of I Extension swine specialist. "This meeting will bring together experts from around the world to share their experiences on this topic.

"Included on the program is Bjarne Pederson of Denmark, an internationally known expert on group housing of sows and how it has worked in his country. He will also be discussing other general trends in the European swine industry related to animal welfare practices."

Other presenters are Janeen Salek-Johnson of the U of I Department of Animal Sciences; Tom Stuthman of Automated Production Systems, of Assumption; David Meier and Mac Luna, two South Dakota swine producers who have used group housing for sows; and Sam Baidoo of the University of Minnesota.

Several groups are sponsoring the meeting, including the Illinois Pork Council, the Illinois Pork Producers Association and U of I Extension.

"Producers have an ethical obligation to make sure the animals on their farm are well cared for," said Phil Borgic, a pork producer from Nokomis and current president of IPPA. "This meeting will help producers learn more about this important topic from an excellent lineup of speakers who are experts in this field. Producers are committed to providing for the well-being of their animals and providing consumers a safe, abundant and affordable food supply."

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The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. and adjourns at 3:30 p.m.

Preregistration is $20, which includes meal if received by March 17. At-door registration is $30. To register, contact the IPPA office at 217-529-3100.

[Text from file received from University of Illinois Extension]


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