At the plenary opening ceremony Sakchai Sriboonsue, the Thai Livestock
Department's Director General and Paul Reid from the British Embassy welcomed
delegates to the conferences and Vanus Taepaisitphongse, the CEO of the
internationally known Betagro Group, reflected on the challenges facing
progressive livestock producers and the importance of the effective utilisation
of knowledge in today's successful livestock operations.
The Pig Focus conference was marked by
presentations on feed additives, mycotoxins, health and more efficient feeding.
Gerard Morantes from Cargill Animal Nutrition in the US gave a presentation
about predicting and managing the mycotoxin risk. He explained that the world
grain production is increasing (estimated to reach 2076 million tonnes in the
This means that we have to be extra focused on preventing that these large
amounts of grains become contaminated with mycotoxins. Morantes said that around
5 years ago, testing for mycotoxins was still not a standard procedure. However,
mycotoxins analyses are starting to become a standard procedure nowadays,
Christopher Nelson from Kemin Industries in
the US spoke about nutricines and the future of nutrition. Nutricines are the
functional components that have a beneficial effect on the animal but do not
have an energetic value. Examples are vitamins, minerals, pro and prebiotics.
Nutricines act at several different sites and levels in the body and may help
the digestion and absorption of nutrients. They protect against pathogenic
micro-organisms through supporting the immune system and against non-infectious
diseases by control of oxidative stress.
Nelson explained that nutritionists have to focus more on the "total
nutrition" concept. This means that we not only have to feed the animal for
maximum growth, but that we also have to feed the animal for optimum health and
Gary Partridge from Danisco Animal Nutrition in
the UK updated the audience on profitable use of new enzymes. He explained that
the enzyme phytase is a crucial ingredient in animal feed as it converts the
phytate (an anti-nutritional factor) into phosphorus. Phosphorus (P) is an
essential nutrient for all animals. Deficiency of P is the most widespread of
all the mineral eficiencies affecting livestock.
The first generation phytase enzymes were produced using genes from
Aspergillus niger and Peniophora lycii. However, at Danisco they have made a new
generation phytase by using the genes from the E. coli bacteria. The advantage
of this new production method is that the phytase is less sensitive to the
stomach acid pepsin, meaning that the enzyme is more efficient in the animal.
Robert van Barneveld from Barneveld
Nutrition in Australia addressed the importance of enhancing the nutrition of
pre and post weaning pigs. He explained that light pigs can respond very well
after nutritional strategies and don't necessarily have to be taken out the
group. According to Van Barneveld, the use of colostrum protein isolates are a
great way to give the small piglets a good start. These products are high in the
antibody IgF and trials showed significant differences in gut health among the
piglets. He also mentioned that the use of semi-moist extruded creep feed also
showed positive results in pigs. This type of feed consists of soft and chewy
pellets, which are easily taken up by the piglets.
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