Removing zinc oxide from pig diets – what are the options?

Episode 390,   Feb 28, 02:30 PM

Zinc oxide has been used for many years in the pig industry to reduce diarrhoea in post-weaned pigs. However, as a result of potential risks to the environment and in line with regulations set by the European Union (EU), therapeutic use of zinc oxide was banned across the EU in the summer of 2022.

The UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate granted an extension in the UK last year, allowing the industry to use up any product purchased before the authorisation expired in June 2022. Current supplies of zinc oxide are expected to be exhausted this summer (2023).

In this episode, we hear about research that AHDB has conducted with SAC Commercial Ltd. to understand the pros and cons of some of the alternative options available to farmers in the absence of zinc oxide. 

The options reviewed through this project target pig nutrition, management and immunity. Summaries have been produced to help guide farmers and their vets and nutritionists, which include details about costs, effectiveness and the time required to implement each of the options.

This week’s guests
Dr Charlotte Evans, Head of Engagement (Pork), AHDB

Dr Bethan John, Animal Health & Welfare Scientist, AHDB

Dr Jim Morris, Senior Vice President of the Pig Veterinary Society
Useful links
Rapid Evidence Assessment report: REA of research studies and evidence syntheses on assessment of practices to reduce post-weaning diarrhoea in pigs

AHDB knowledge library: Removing zinc oxide from pig diets 

Pig World article: UK pig sector Industry looks to gather evidence to justify return of zinc oxide

We'd love to know what you think of our podcasts. If you’d like to give your feedback, please complete our short questionnaire, which will help us to improve the podcast on an ongoing basis, or email us with your thoughts, comments and suggestions: 
This episode was produced and edited by Miriam Drewett, Marcomms Manager (Pork).