Pig sector ‘optimistic’ about impending EU ban on zinc oxide

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With less than three months until an EU ban on the use of therapeutic zinc oxide in piglet feeds comes into effect, our AB Neo team has been working closely with farmers to ensure they have alternative solutions in place ahead of the deadline. 

Traditionally, zinc has been used in pig feed to address post-weaning diarrhoea but is being banned from June 26th 2022, largely due to environmental concerns.  

Our AB Neo team, who specialise in young animal nutrition, has been a key member of various working groups across Europe looking at solutions and believe the sector is ready for the change of mindset which focuses on prevention rather than control. 

UK Technical Lead, Sadie Douglas, says: “We recognised the transition to zinc-free is a big step, with some farmers having to make significant changes in biosecurity, management and vet interventions as well as adjusting feeding regimes.” 

Simon Tibble, Director of Research and Development at Alternative Swine Nutrition, part of our AB Neo team in Spain, says: “The pig sector is optimistic and eager to face the challenge, advised by our knowledgeable field technicians.”

In Denmark, Senior Technical Manager Jørn Marsden said: “Most customers used zinc because it has been a cheap solution that worked. We encouraged our customers to take time to incorporate any new routines and to share experiences.”

In the UK, where the ban also applies, AB Neo carried out large-scale trials with top producers to develop a new product - PD-Progress, the country’s first dedicated zinc-free starter diets for piglets.

The team also sponsored a PhD at the University of Leeds to better understand the effect of zinc on the pig microbiome. And last November, AB Neo co-hosted the first Practical Pig Producers’ Conference in Hinkley, Leicestershire, alongside AM Warkup Ltd, Rattlerow, Farms AgroVision and independent pig industry consultant Dominic Charman. 

To find out more about zinc-free diets for pigs please visit: https://ab-neo.com/zinc-free-feeding-weaning-piglets-without-zinc