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On demand: View the Pig Health webinar

Gut health, African Swine Fever and antibiotic reduction were the 3 themes that were discussed at the most recent webinar, held by Pig Progress. Did you miss it? No worries, here is your chance to re-view the entire session.

The webinar was broadcasted live from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on May 7, 2018. Speakers included:

  • Dr Arie van Nes, Utrecht University
  • Dr Rafael Durán, Danisco Animal Nutrition, a division of DuPont Industrial Biosciences
  • Dr Willie Loeffen, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research.

Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek is the host of the webinar, which lasts for exactly 1 hour.

The speakers at the webinar, from left to right Dr Willie Loeffen, Dr Rafael Durán, Dr Arie van Nes and Vincent ter Beek. Photo: Sophie ten Broek
The speakers at the webinar, from left to right Dr Willie Loeffen, Dr Rafael Durán, Dr Arie van Nes and Vincent ter Beek. Photo: Sophie ten Broek

Dr Arie van Nes: Reducing antibiotics

Dr Arie van Nes, specialist at Utrecht University in swine herd health and epidemiology, kicked off the webinar, explaining about the way the Dutch dealt with their targets to reduce antibiotic usage on-farm. Reducing antibiotics on-farm is definitely possible, Dr Van Nes said. Experience in the Netherlands has proven that reduction is feasible – and he summed up a range of tools which can be used to achieve this.


The word ‘awareness’ was one of the key elements jumping out in his presentation. Awareness, he said, can be created by measuring antibiotic usage on-farm. In order to truly get the levels of antibiotics down, it is a task of veterinarians, farmers and the feed industry to cooperate. In addition, he said, the implementation of infection prevention measures plays an important role.

Read more about pig health in the Pig Progress Health Tool

Dr Rafael Durán: Inproving liveability

Dr Rafael Durán of Danisco Animal Nutrition zoomed in on the theme the improvement of liveability for grow-finisher pigs. His presentation revolved around Syncra SWI, a new nutritional additive which in fact is a combination product. 

On one hand it contains a 3-strain adaptive probiotic that produces endogenous enzymes, on the other it contains exogenous enzymes, which are complementary to probiotics.

Together, this approach has been shown to take care of a more balanced gut in grow-finisher pigs – and on the side also of lower ammonia emissions. As a result, a meta-analysis amongst pigs between 25 and 114 kg showed that Average Daily Gain (ADG) significantly grew by 3% and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) by 4%. Liveability was also shown to grow by 2%.

Dr Willie Loeffen: African Swine Fever in Europe

Last but not least, Dr Willie Loeffen touched on the threat posed by African Swine Fever (ASF), a viral disease that is gradually moving towards Western Europe in wild boar populations. Attached to Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, he is head of the Netherlands’ reference lab for both Classical and African Swine Fever. He is fully aware of the virus likely progressing further east – and what needs to be done about it.

The moment of his presentation was timely as only a few days prior to the webinar, the news broke that ASF had entered Hungary. His expectation is that ASF is to stay in Europe’s wild boar population. As a result, commercial farms need to maintain high biosecurity, should not feed kitchen waste to the animals and keep food and food products away from the pigs.

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