2 April 1999

Danes face ban on AGP use in weaner diets from January

By Emma Penny

DANISH pig producers face a ban on using antibiotic growth promoters in weaner diets from Jan 1, 2000.

According to Niels Kjeldsen, a representative of the Danish pig industry, nobody knows how this will affect the industry, and he admitted that coping with removing AGPs in these diets might be difficult.

But Danish producers finishing pigs were banned from using AGPs in March 1998. Mr Kjeldsen said that in many herds the transition made little difference. A study showed that 61% of producers experienced no problems, 27% found a temporary imbalance and only 11% said they were suffering longer-term problems. Most common concern was an increase in diarrhoea.

But an increase in diarrhoea problems was not necessarily be-cause of pathogens, but simply that faeces consistency became thinner.

"After about a month, we find that the pigs intestinal flora will adapt the new ration, and problems will diminish. Where concerns persist, producers need to identify whether its because of feeding, housing or pathogens."

Where feeding is found to be at fault, Mr Kjeldsen said reducing crude protein fed will cut diarrhoea problems. Where wet feed is being offered, ensure the pH is below 4.5 and the temperature as close to 20 deg C as possible.

When dry feeding, adding 0.5-1% organic acids or organic salts could help, although it would be cheaper to add 0.1-0.2% formic acid to drinking water, but only where pipes were made of plastic to cut corrosion concerns.

"Diarrhoea might also be due to poor infection control – all-in/all-out systems can help, along with good hygiene between batches and ensuring pigs are good quality," he said.

ANTIBIOTICBAN

&#8226 61% no problems.

&#8226 27% temporary imbalance.

&#8226 11% longer term concerns.