Sustainable use of copper and zinc
The Symposium ‘Copper and Zinc in Pig Farming’ presented by the Product Board Animal Feed (PDV) dealt with the opportunities available for reducing copper and zinc in pig feeds.
The background is the EC Water Framework Directive that lays down targets for the sound chemical and ecological condition of ground and surface waters. Research has shown that copper and zinc released by the pig farming industry significantly contribute to total emissions. A literature search of the need for copper and zinc among various categories of pigs was conducted in recent years. In addition, animal experiments with piglets and meat pigs were conducted to determine copper and zinc needs. Based on the results of the literature search and the animal experiments, the Centraal Veevoeder Bureau (Netherlands Central Animal Feed Institute) settled on a standard of a total of 80 mg zinc per kg for piglet and meat pig feeds. If 30 to 35 mg of zinc per kg is derived from the raw materials used in concentrates, 45 to 50 mg of zinc per kg must be added to the concentrates via the premix. Nuscience would like to anticipate these developments by adapting the Mervit premixes for pig feeds.