ITALY - Some of the most challenging issues in pig health today were addressed on the second day of the European Symposium on Porcine Health Management (ESPHM) today, 8 May - including antibiotic use, Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and tail biting, reports Jackie Linden.
'Antibiotic use in pig production - where are we going' was the the opening keynote address of the day, addressed by J.E. Olsen from Denmark - a country where antibiotics have been banned as growth promoters for 15 years already.
Professor Kamphues of Germany reviewed a great deal of research carried out by his group into the effects of the physical form of diets on the health, welfare and performance of pigs, revealing some surprising differences between coarsely ground diets fed as mash and finely ground materials as pellets. Using diets based on wheat, barley and soybean meal, the coarsely ground diets generally gave better results.
Oral presentations on viral diseases followed in the next session, where the focus was on the latest research into PRRS and swine influenza.
In a keynote speech entitled 'Man made disease in swine', L. van Leengoed of the Netherlands presented his insights into poor husbandry practices that can lead to long-term health and/or welfare issues in pigs, while research from Finland, reviewed by A. Valros, sheds new light on the subject of tail-biting.
The day's remaining sessions offered the opportunity to the Symposium's industry partners to present their findings on a range of health-related topics.
Delegates to ESPHM also heard of the launch a new scientific publication, Porcine Health Management.
The web site is still under construction but the journal is already accepting submissions.
A peer-reviewed open-access publication to be produced in partnership with BioMed Central, the new journal is a joint project between the European College of Porcine Health Management (ECPHM) and the European Association of Porcine Health Management (EAPHM). Two editors-in-chief have been appointed - Dr Guy-Pierre Martineau and Dr Stan Done.
ECPHM President, Dr J. Segales, explained that that aim of the new journal is to publish relevant, novel and revised information on pig health, medicine and production in the form of research articles, case reports, studies, commentaries, reviews and short reports.