Genus plc, a leading global animal genetics company, announced today that it has entered into a strategic collaboration in China, the world’s largest pork market. The collaboration, with Beijing Capital Agribusiness Co Ltd (BCA), a leading Chinese animal protein genetics business, is to research, develop, register and market elite pigs in China that are resistant to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv). Today’s announcement marks an exciting step forward in the development of PRRS resistant pigs for pork producers in China.
“The combination of Genus’ PRRSv resistance technology, elite genetics and breeding know-how along with BCA’s deep understanding of the porcine sector in China and its distribution channels plays to the strengths of each party,” said Bill Christianson, PIC COO. “We are looking forward to rapidly progressing the PRRSv resistance program in collaboration with BCA and launching this important new product in China.”
The initial phase of the collaboration is expected to take several years and focuses on the research, development and regulatory approval in China of PRRSv resistant pigs. Following regulatory approval and the launch of PRRSv resistant pigs in China, Genus and BCA have agreed that they will work together in a joint venture which will include Genus's porcine operations in China (PIC China).
As China seeks to modernise its pork production, these efforts are significantly hindered by disease outbreaks. The potential to reduce PRRSv will bring significant benefits to China by improving the reliability of the pork supply chain and continuing to provide high-quality pork to Chinese consumers. PRRSv affects the majority of pigs in China and causes animal suffering, reproductive failure, increased mortality and reduced growth. BCA and Genus also intend to cooperate to research and develop solutions to other major animal health challenges facing the Chinese pork industry including African swine fever.
“We are excited to collaborate with Genus PIC, the world’s leading porcine genetics company, for the registration and launch of PRRSv resistant pigs in China as an important step of a broader partnership,” said Liu Jiantong, General Manager and Vice Chairman of Beijing Capital Agribusiness Co, Ltd. “BCA is a leading agricultural company that focuses on providing high quality and modern technology to Chinese animal protein producers. Our exclusive collaboration with Genus PIC in China on this cutting-edge technology and other future ventures further expands BCA’s presence in the animal protein genetics sector and is consistent with BCA’s long-term strategy.”
“The more countries that have approved the production or consumption of pork from PRRSv resistant pigs the smoother global trade. China is the largest consumer, producer and importer of pork in the world. It is important for Chinese consumers, Chinese producers and overseas producers—including those here in the US—to have approval for use of this technology in China,” added Bill Christianson.