Background

Pork production is a $31 million industry in Prince Edward Island, producing about 200,000 animals per year. It is comprised of about 250 producers, highly organized, who cooperatively own PEI Quality Swine Co., which produces breeding females in two low-disease facilities for all producers on the Island. The disease burden is relatively low; the Island appears to be free of Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE) and has a prevalence rate of about 33 per cent of farms infected with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). These two viral diseases are common in North America, and have major negative consequences in other regions.

Further, PEI is an island with limited routes of access from the mainland, and there is the possibility of establishing a low-disease, biosecure zone for pork production. Such a status would make PEI highly competitive as a source of low-disease breeding stock, and would enable PEI to be a repository for special genotypes. For example, pigs may be used in the future for research purposes in such human xenotransplant applications as embryo brain tissue for Alzheimer's patients. These applications require expensive, highly inbred populations, which reproduce poorly, and are therefore vulnerable to loss. A biosecure island would also enable the preservation of genetic diversity of pigs, by preserving in culture samples of populations of pigs in areas subject to decimation by disease and enable the regeneration of these herds in a low-disease condition. The development of genetic engineering and embryo transplant technologies on the Island would also expedite shipping of germ plasm and even permit the production of designer pigs for a specialty or niche market.

The Enterprise

The virtual case study will describe a company called ''Island Genetics" with the following characteristics:

Statement of Purpose

The enterprise will build on PEI's strengths in biosecurity, in industry organization and structure, and its current capability to produce low-disease animals, in order to export low-disease breeding stock to international markets.

What is the product or service ?

The main product would be high quality 21 day old F-1 breeding females shipped live, to be used as parent breeding stock when they are about 8 months old. Longer term opportunities include: embryos, semen, and fertilized eggs; a repository of rare, valuable varieties of hog such as those used in medical re-



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