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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11019/1523

Title: Do weaner pigs need in-feed antibiotics to ensure good health and welfare?
Authors: Diana, Alessia
Manzanilla, Edgar G.
Calderon Diaz, Julia A.
Leonard, Finola C.
Boyle, Laura A.
Keywords: Pigs
Health
welfare
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: PLOS
Series/Report no.: PLoS ONE;
Abstract: Antibiotics (AB) are used in intensive pig production systems to control infectious diseases and they are suspected to be a major source of antibiotic resistance. Following the ban on AB use as growth promoters in the EU, their prophylactic use in-feed is now under review. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of removing prophylactic in-feed AB on pig health and welfare indicators. Every Monday for six weeks, a subset of 70 pigs were weaned, tagged and sorted into two groups of 35 pigs according to weight (9.2 ± 0.6 kg). AB were removed from the diet of one group (NO, n=6) and maintained in the other group (AB, n=6) for nine weeks. Ten focal pigs were chosen per group. After c. five weeks each group was split into two pens of c.17 pigs for the following 4 weeks. Data were recorded weekly. Skin, tail, ear, flank and limb lesions of focal pigs were scored according to severity. The number of animals per group affected by health deviations was also recorded. The number of fights and harmful behaviours (ear, tail bites) per group was counted during 3×5min observations once per week. Data were analysed using mixed model equations and binomial logistic regression. At group level, AB pigs were more likely to have tail (OR=1.70; P=0.05) but less likely to have ear lesions than NO pigs (OR=0.46; P<0.05). The number of ear bites (21.4±2.15 vs. 17.3±1.61; P<0.05) and fights (6.91±0.91 vs. 5.58±0.72; P=0.09) was higher in AB than in NO pigs. There was no effect of treatment on health deviations and the frequency of these was low. Removing AB from the feed of weaner pigs had minimal effects on health and welfare indicators.
Description: peer-reviewed
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11019/1523
Appears in Collections:Pig Development

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
Dataset 1 Focals data.csvSupporting Dataset 1 of 899.12 kBMicrosoft ExcelView/Open
Dataset 2 Performance data.csvSupporting Dataset 2 of 81.28 kBMicrosoft ExcelView/Open
Dataset 3 Focal Limbs data 1.csvSupporting Dataset 3 of 889.18 kBMicrosoft ExcelView/Open
Dataset 4 Focal Limb data 2.csvSupporting Dataset 4 of 889.37 kBMicrosoft ExcelView/Open
Dataset 5 Group data first stage.csvSupporting Dataset 5 of 84.52 kBMicrosoft ExcelView/Open
Dataset 6 Group data second stage.csvSupporting Dataset 6 of 86.51 kBMicrosoft ExcelView/Open
Dataset 7 Behaviour (groups) first stage.csvSupporting Dataset 7 of 82.52 kBMicrosoft ExcelView/Open
Dataset 8 Behaviour (groups) second stage.csvSupporting Dataset 8 of 84.72 kBMicrosoft Excel XMLView/Open

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