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What can Europe expect when the growth promoters are finally withdrawn on January 1st 2006?

by 5m Editor
17 October 2004, at 12:00am

By David Burch, Octagon Services Ltd. - Metal-based feed additives such as copper sulphate and zinc oxide have already had there inclusion levels restricted to nutritional levels only, from January 1st 2004 and the use of copper as a growth promoter has been effectively stopped.

Extracted from:
Pig Journal 54 Order your copy here!

The remaining antibiotic growth promoters will be withdrawn from use in the EU from January 1st 2006. Will their loss have a major impact on UK pig production and will we see the same level of disease surge as the Danes did, when they stopped in March 1998?

What did antimicrobial growth promoters do? Primarily their main effect was to inhibit the growth of the 'bad' bacteria in the gut and allowed the pig to utilise the feed more efficiently and thus improve its nutrition and grow faster. In especially reared animals with no microbial gut flora (gnotobiotics), antimicrobial growth promoters had no activity. So they need bacteria to be present to have an affect. (See Figure 1)

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Source: The Pig Journal - Volume 54, Published November 2004