Although the Danish pig producers already use zinc below the maximum limits, the goal is to reduce even more its use in feeds, and they expect Europe to follow their example.
Bearing in mind that approximately 70% of the total zinc consumption is as an additive at low levels in the feed, this seems the starting point to work towards the reduction, according to Mr. Claus Fertin, Director of the SEGES (Danish Pig Research Centre).
The researchers at the SEGES are carrying out a test at a higher level for which results are expected during 2016. This will allow to have a better basis for making decisions. According to Mr. Fertin “It is important that the rules are similar in all Europe.”
In 2003, the maximum zinc levels allowed dropped from 250 mg/kg to 150mg/kg, which represents a decrease by 40%. Currently, the use of zinc by the Danish farmers is 85% of the maximum allowed in Denmark. The new test will also establish if the zinc dose can be reduced from a maximum of 150 mg/kg of feed to 70 mg/kg without the pigs' welfare and productivity being negatively affected.
Recently, a report written by the Environmental Protection Agency of the University of Aarhus has shown an increase in the levels of zinc and copper in the soil due to their use in pig feeds. The reports concludes that, in the long term this could become an important environmental problem.
Tuesday, 20 October 2015/ Landbrug & Fodevarer/ Denmark.