Antibiotics usage in France, the feed market and the success of Spain as a pig country – just some of the subjects that were touched on at the recent Swine Conference, organised by French feed additives company Adisseo in Paris, France.
For the 6th time, Adisseo organised its Swine Conference preceding the annual Swine Research Days (JRP) in Paris. In total, about 60 people from 11 countries from all over the world made it to Paris.
Bringing down antibiotics usage in pigs
For the conference, leading antibiotics usage researcher Anne Hémonic was invited to speak about the recent developments in France’s battle to bring down usage of antibiotics in the pig industry. She summed up the various initiatives in France how the country is monitoring antibiotics usage, and she also touched on various practical measures taken.
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She introduced newly developed computer software, set up by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (Anses), the French Pig Research Institute (IFIP) and agriculture software company Isagri. This allows a computerised registration of all treatments on-farm.
Difficult to compare antibiotics figures
Painting a global and then a European picture with regard to antibiotics, Hémonic said that in terms of antibiotics sales for food producing animals, southern European countries like Spain, Italy and Cyprus top the list. She added that it is difficult to compare figures about antibiotics use between countries, as these figures for instance don’t mention for which types of animals the antibiotics are used.
Anne Hémonic, leading French researcher on antibiotics usage, explained the progress of antibiotic reduction in France. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
On a French level, there are three different initiatives for monitoring the usage antibiotics, Hémonic said.
• Sales of antibiotics per species are monitored through ANMV-Anses.
• IFIP also monitors the medication costs to analyse the distribution by type of drugs.
• The Inaporc panel (also IFIP), monitors the consumption of antimicrobials on between 150-170 farms, which are randomly selected and who form a representative part of the French pig industry.
Making animal feed more digestible
Other speakers at the event included Pierre Cozannet, Adisseo, who reviewed the main parameters affecting nutrient digestibility. The presentation described physiological, technological and biotechnical solutions. He went further into the potential of feed additives and described the involved mechanism.
The secret of Spain as pig powerhouse
Estelle Antoine, IFIP, discussed the importance of a new number 1 pig production country in Europe: Spain. She indicated that in number of pigs, Spain may be the biggest, but in terms of slaughterings, Germany still is in the lead, due to the importing of pigs.
Feed prices and projections for 2017
Alexandre Boy, of French agricultural data company Agritel, shared his projections for crop cultivation for the years to come. He discussed a wide variety of crops, like wheat, corn, barley, oilseed, soybeans and soy meal.
Apart from antibiotics, the event also touched on the use of improving meat quality. On this picture, Florence Gondret, INRA, addresses the audience. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
How to improve pork shelf life?
Closing the session was Florence Gondret, researcher at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), who zoomed in onto different reasons of what makes meat good meat, like e.g. water-holding capacity or colour – and what can be done during the production phase as to improve this.
She demonstrated that HMTBA, supplied 3 to 5 times the total sulphur amino acid requirement during the last 2 weeks before slaughtering, has a positive effect on meat quality.