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Canadian Pig Nutrition Requirements Ignore New Technology

2 April 2015, at 9:16am

CANADA - A professor of swine nutrition suggests minimum phosphorus requirements for swine rations in Canada need to be re-evaluated, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Table 4 of Canada's Feed Act outlines minimum nutrient levels that must be present in animal diets.

Canada's pork industry has expressed concern over minimum phosphorus requirements of 0.5 per cent in rations for most classes of pigs.

Dr. Kees de Lange, a professor of swine nutrition with the University of Guelph explains that if we formulate based on available phosphorus, we can make efficient pig diets where the total phosphorus content is 0.4 per cent or in some cases even lower but, because that is below the table 4 requirements, it would be illegal for a commercial feed company to market those diets.

Dr Kees de Lange-University of Guelph:

That minimum level has been established probably close to 10 years and that was before new technology has become available that improves the utilization of phosphorus in the pig, and those requirements specified in table 4 are based on total phosphorus and it ignores the availability of phosphorus that is present in the diet.

The technology that I'm talking about is particular exogenous enzymes.

They are so called phytase enzymes that are routinely included in pig diets these days and that improves phosphorus availability, and because of that the total phosphorus content in a diet can be reduced, while the amount of available phosphorus applied to the pig is maintained or it can even be a little bit increased.

This is what the conflict is really about.

With the phytase phosphorus included we can formulate practical swine diets that have levels of total phosphorus below that 0.5 by still supporting sufficient amounts of available phosphorus supply in there for animal productivity.

Dr de Lange suggests we really should see some change in the requirements.

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