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New antimicrobial regulations present an opportunity for Canadian hog producers

09 August 2018

As of 1 December , 2018, all medically important antimicrobials for veterinary use will be sold by prescription only in Canada. MSP[RS] provides an insight into how producers can continue to beat disease in young pigs whilst meeting consumer demand

While specifically implemented with the goal of decreasing the incidence of antimicrobial resistance in harmful pathogens, the movement towards reduced antibiotic usage reflects the consumer perception that hogs raised under more ‘natural’ conditions will ultimately produce a better pork chop. Marketing efforts have certainly muddied the waters regarding the definition of what is truly ‘natural’ and how consumers feel about it. However, the impending regulatory hurdle presents an opportunity for swine producers looking for piglet scour treatment alternatives.

But before getting carried away with alternatives, why not simply empower the veterinarians already working in the barns to write the needed prescriptions? Simply put, because of the bureaucracy: prescriptions mean paperwork and documentation, which equate to time and money. These limitations come at further costs. Clean label, ‘free from’ claims add value to pork because customers are willing to spend more money for products produced without antibiotics. While it may seem counterintuitive, antibiotic treatments that stop or prevent potentially fatal scours are viewed with distrust by the general population.

Vaccination against scour-causing pathogens remains an effective albeit expensive option. However, a prescription is still required for vaccines, meaning that treatments will need to be carefully documented, and public acceptance of vaccine usage in the food chain should not be taken for granted. Scour vaccination protocols also differ significantly from antibiotic protocols, requiring logistical concerns.

So where does the opportunity lie for swine producers weighing their options in this time of uncertainty?

MSP[RS] Resistant Starch is a non-pharmaceutical product that is effective at reducing scours, simplifying feed operations by providing a versatile solution compatible with previous antibiotic treatment protocols. Furthermore, this plant-based prebiotic solution is compatible with clean label, ‘free from’ messaging, allowing hog producers in Canada and the United States to capitalise on emerging market trends. With over a decade of demonstrated use, see why producers are increasingly turning to MSP[RS] Resistant Starch for healthier piglets from day one.

 

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