Webinar “Antibiotic-free feeding of pigs”

In the framework of the ”Sino-German cooperation project on animal breeding and husbandry in China“ the project team organized a three-days online webinar with the topic “Antibiotic-free feeding of pigs”. More  than 120 participants attended the event.  The Webinar was implemented by ADT Project Consulting GmbH with the National Animal Husbandry Service (NAHS) in close collaboration with German Farm Consulting, international experts and the project’s business partners such as Big Dutchman, Sano and Menno Chemie. The Webinar took place on the 25th and the 26th of August with an additional Q&A session on September 1st.

The topic for this event was selected since the Chinese government has spoken out a legal ban on antibiotic growth promoters in feed from January 1, 2020 onwards.

At the beginning Dr. Liu Chousheng (Head of Department for Animal Breeding at the NAHS) gave a welcome speech via video message to the audience.

Ms Svenja Fuhrman (Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Division 624 - International Projects, Twinning) welcomed the participants on behalf of the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture.  Then the senior project expert for pig husbandry, Dr. Jörg Krapoth, took over and guided through the programme of the webinar.

The lecture of Dr. Li Jiao (NAHS) described the requirements of laws and regulations for the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry in China. Instead of using antibiotics she recommeded the application of the traditional Chinese medicine, enzymes and probiotics. Research is currently being carried out to develop a strong and healthy animal husbandry in China under the new legal framework.

Hauke Hohnhorst, (Big Dutchman) pointed out the climate factors and the impact of efficient ventilation on animal health. He also gave an example how to improve old stables by integration of inlet air filter systems.

Dr. Ulrich Presuhn showed the importance of a good organisation of the work  to achieve effecient operational processes and allocation of tasks in modern pig farms. Defined production groups of sows are the main factor for improved hygiene and to prevent the spread of germs through the whole herd.

Starting on August 26 the pig expert, Dr. Dieter Mischok, made clear, that the use of antibiotics in livestock farming is mainly aimed at controlling bacterial diseases. Whereas in the past, antibiotics were applied through feed and drinking water, farms have now the task to change to individual treatment of animals. Dr. Mischok also showed which steps have to be taken to achieve less antibiotic use in pig farming. This also includes staff training on disease signals as early detection.

Jan Nevermann (Menno Chemie) gave a lecture on best practices of animal washing. Washing pigs is one step to fight against skin parasites and bacteria, when changing to another compartment. By this, it can reduce the use of antibiotics. Furthermore, it also can help against cannibalism in nursery and fattening.

Manfred Schönleben (SANO-Moderne Tierernährung GmbH) contributed to the field of pig nutrition. The best start for a piglet is the milk of the sow. Additionally, there are possibilities to support the development of the digestive tract. Functional components such as fatty acids, acids and salts can positively influence the health of the digestive tract.

Finally, Henrik Delfs gave an overview on factors to achieve an antibiotic-free feeding. Therefore, he showed the achievements done in the project work together with the demonstration farm Yifa located in Henan Province.

On September 1st Dr. Krapoth and Henrik Delfs replied on all the upcoming questions collected during the first two days of the webinar.  Additionally, both experts shared their experiences obtained from their work at Chinese demo farms.

(Henrik Delfs)