The role of feed in sustainable pork production: How feeding programs affect environmental impacts of pork production – Part 1

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

This and next week’s science pages are brought us by researchers in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Animal Science: Zhaohui Yang, Pedro Urriola, Lee Johnston, and Gerald Shurson.

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Analyzing Swine Feed Ingredients and Pork Products from ASF Affected Countries

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

This week, Dr. Gil Patterson, Chief Medical Officer at VetNOW shares a summary of his publication in Transboundary and emerging Diseases, focusing on swine feed ingredients and pork products imported from countries affected by African Swine Fever.

Key Points

  • Feed and feed ingredients can act as an introduction pathway for African swine fever into the US that needs to be considered
  • Analysis focusing on high-risk products from ASF positive countries can help identify entry pathways into the US and assess risk
  • The ability to focus in on different products, entry pathways, and country of origin provides flexibility to address a range of questions
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Addition of antioxidants controls and delays lipid oxidation, but does not affect growth performance and oxidative status of pigs fed oxidized oils

This week, the swine nutrition group from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota share the impact of antioxidants on feed quality and growth performances in pigs.

Key points

  • The addition of synthetic antioxidants can improve lipid stability, but does not completely prevent further oxidation in both fresh (unoxidized) and oxidized lipids.
  • The addition of synthetic antioxidants did not affect growth performance of pigs fed oxidized oil, but improved signs of oxidative stress.
Continue reading “Addition of antioxidants controls and delays lipid oxidation, but does not affect growth performance and oxidative status of pigs fed oxidized oils”

Can vitamins play a role in feed biosecurity?

In an effort to examine the role of ingredients, especially vitamins, in feed biosecurity, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and the University of Minnesota organized a vitamin manufacturing sector-wide workshop. Representatives from pork industry organizations including National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, vitamin manufacturers and blenders, and feed industry associations joined SHIC and the University of Minnesota for the workshop in late April in St. Paul, Minnesota. Participants focused on vitamins and the processes involved prior to delivery to a producer’s farm, with special focus on African swine fever transport and transmission risk.

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Science Page: High levels of dietary zinc under a cloud

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

The addition of zinc in pig’s diet had been a common way to fight against enteric issues at weaning without using antimicrobial in some European countries whereas its use was prohibited in others. Earlier this month, the European Union decided to homogenize practices over the continent by banning the use of high levels of zinc in the diet over environmental and antimicrobial resistance concerns. This new legislation will be implemented progressively over 5 years.

Key points from this week edition:

  • High level (2,500 – 3,000ppm) zinc use (HZU) in feed for 1 to 2 weeks post weaning to counter enteric disease is perhaps the most widely adopted alternative to antibiotic use in pig production globally.
  • The European Union just announced a ban on HZU in piglet feed, to be phased in over 5 years
  • Banning of an effective and widely adopted alternative to antibiotics, at least in part due to perceived concerns about coselection of resistant bacteria, adds another layer of complexity to the development and validation of all interventions to replace antibiotics in food animal production.

Read Dr. Peter Davies’ explanation of the reasons behind this ban.