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Maple Leaf Encourages Needle-Free Technology

by 5m Editor
9 March 2011, at 9:50am

CANADA - Maple Leaf Consumer Foods is encouraging pork producers who ship hogs to its processing plants to consider the adoption of needle-free technology for the administration of vaccines and medications to swine, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Needle-free injectors use a high speed blast of gas to propel veterinary compounds through the skin, replacing the need for needles and eliminating the risk of needle fragments ending up in pork.

In 2008, in an effort to address the issue of needle fragments, Maple Leaf adopted a policy under which when a needle breaks in a pig and can not be removed the animal must be euthenized on the farm as soon as practically possible and Maple Leaf will compensate the producer for the loss.

Jason Manness, Maple Leaf's director of procurement for western Canada, says unfortunately we have still had incidents of broken needles and Maple Leaf is strongly endorsing the switch to the new needle-free technology.

Jason Manness-Maple Leaf Consumer Foods

One needle fragment is too many and so we're trying to eliminate needle fragments in pork.

Needle fragments in the Canadian pork is a major concern for the meat marketers including maple Leaf.

Nothing receives as much unwanted attention and affects the image of Canadian pork so negatively as needle fragments and so we're doing all we can with our producers to work on eliminating this issue.

We strongly believe prevention on the farm is our number one defense.

We've actively engaged currently two manufacturers who are driving the technology to market.

What has also been a real positive is the Manitoba government, through the Growing Forward Programme, is contributing a significant portion of the cost, upwards of 90 per cent for hog producers to purchase this new technology and use the technology which will then prevent having fragments in pork.


Mr Manness says more and more producers are making use of the new technology.

He notes, in order to encourage adoption, Maple Leaf will enter the names of producers who purchase and begin using the technology before 31 October into a draw for an all expense paid trip for two for the 2012 Banff Pork Seminar.

5m Editor