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VIV Europe technical session: Challenges in AGP free pig diets

At VIV Europe in Utrecht the Netherlands, Lars Sangill Andersen - feed application manager at Hamlet Protein gave a presentation about "a practical view on piglet diets with a minimum of antibiotics - and is fish meal in piglet feed sustainable?"

Andersen explained different ways of feeding that could benefit animal health. For years, zinc oxide and in feed antibiotics were part of the feeding for health concept. However, due to increased resistance of bacteria and hence antibiotics this approach is no longer healthy. “We have to move towards an approach where we can stop diseases from popping up instead of solving the symptoms like we did with antibiotics for years,” he said.
Enteric problems
The in-feed ban on antibiotics has been in place in the European Union for a few years now and the use of therapeutic antibiotics seemed to increase a little. “However, we see that the therapeutic use of antibiotics in pigs is levelled out and some figures might be distorted by outbreaks with PRRS and PMWS were antibiotics needed to get rid of these outbreaks,” Andersen addressed.
The main challenges in feeding pigs an antibiotic growth promoter free diet are the control of Lawsonia intracellularis, E.coli and Salmonella, Andersen said. The crux lies in getting these diseases under control by alternative feeding strategies among others. He emphasised that most therapeutic use of antibiotics are being used to cure enteric diseases in young pigs. This is approximately three times higher than the antibiotic use to cure other diseases in piglets.
Use of fish meal
Pigs and chickens used to be the main consumers of fish meal. Now, aquaculture is taking the lead and more alternative protein sources are being investigated to incorporate in pig and poultry diets. This is mainly due to the increased price and the environmental problems associated with the production of fish meal. A study with a soya protein source from Hamlet Protein showed a smoother weaning phase with reduced susceptibility to E. coli bacteria, improved feed intake and increased body weight gain in piglets. 
VIV Europe
Despite the unfortunate situation at many airports in Europe as a consequence of the volcanic eruption in Iceland, VIV Europe has been taking place as planned in Utrecht, April 20-22. Build-up hours on Monday April 19 were prolonged for late arrivals.
About Hamlet Protein
Hamlet Protein  - based in Horsens, Denmark - produces innovative vegetable protein solutions to young animal feeding: piglets, calves, poultry, pets and aqua. The company has a turnover of DKK 250 million (€34 million) and approximately 55 employees. As part of a generation change of the company management, Polaris Private Equity has acquired majority of the shares.
(By Emmy Koeleman)

Editor PigProgress

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