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Trial shows Irish pig farms can do without antibiotics

Preliminary results from a mutual research project between Irish research institute Teagasc (TEAGASC), University College Dublin (UCD) and Dutch feed additive producer FRAmelco shows very promising results in the ability of applying feed additives* to treat digestive and respiratory problems in pigs.

One of the biggest challenges in animal husbandry is to reduce the amount of preventive antibiotics used. FRAmelco, based in the Netherlands, develops additives as a tool to reduce preventive and curative use of antibiotics they teamed up with several parties to study there additives as a tool to eliminate antibiotics.

Before the start of the study serology has confirmed the presence of PRRS and H1N1 at the trial farm. Contagious animals used to be treated with antibiotics; however this could not reduce the high mortality and improve animal performance. At this farm a randomised trial was designed to study the effect of applying FRA products to battle digestive and respiratory problems arising three to four weeks after moving the pigs from the weaning to the finisher units.

In the experimental group antibiotics were removed from the diet while adding a combination of the additives*. The control group received antibiotics and the combination of the additives*. The aim of the study was to see if antibiotics could be excluded when FRA products are applied. The study was monitored by research groups from both UCD and TEAGASC. The trial was conducted on a 300 sow commercial farm.

So far, results indicate the farm will allow the removal of the antibiotic treatment with no reduction in FCR. Final results and publication will be available by the end of February 2015.

*FRA C 12 in combination with FRA Easy Zinc and FRA Easy Copper.

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