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Food Safety Assurance Justifies Added Cost of Needle-Free Injection

09 March 2016
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - The Director of Animal Health with Hylife says the ability to assure customers that the meat they purchase will be completely free of needle fragments has enabled the company to justify the added costs of adopting needle-free injection systems.

In 2010 Hylife began converting its swine barns to needle-free injection and by January 2011 the company was completely needle-free.

Dr Karine Talbot, the Director of Animal Health with Hylife, says the company now uses needle-free injectors to administer every kind of compound from iron to vitamins to antibiotics to every age and type of pig from birth to slaughter including vaccination during processing at weaning, later in the nursery to finisher pigs to gilts.

Dr Karine Talbot-Hylife:

Economically it's much more expensive than a typical needle and syringe for sure.

The equipment itself is a couple of thousand bucks per unit and every barn will need maybe more than one, depending on how many they need.

Some of our farms need 5 needleless injectors for different size of pigs for example.

So that was a very expensive change for us but the gain for us was to make sure we could prove to our customers and confirm that we were needle-free and the meat will never have a broken needle in it so that was a gain for us.

So the needleless has been a big change but now farms have adopted it.

We have employees that have never injected with a needle and syringe so they don't know anything else.

Actually I still always have questions in the farms going with those units and people like it.
They're simple to maintain, they're simple to use.

They have their little issues like any equipment you have in the farms.

It could be a fan or motors, heaters, they do need to be maintained so it would be the same with the needleless equipment but it's a very good change that Hylife has made years ago.

Dr Talbot says broken needles in the meat is a huge issue for the whole industry, not just for Hylife but for everyone selling pigs.

She says we need consumers all across Canada to be confident that we produce a safe meat so she encourages everybody to consider needle-free.

ThePigSite News Desk

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