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Will the EU ban the use of zinc oxide?

A potential ban on zinc oxide (ZnO) in the European Union is likely to meet a lot of opposition from countries like e.g. the United Kingdom and Denmark.

Pig Progress reports that the additive may be on its way out in the European Union after an EU advisory body recommended to withdraw the permission to use the feed additive.

This is because the additive can harm the environment. In addition, the use of ZnO is also said to be related to the increase of prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, although that risk is not quantifiable.

Chief consultant Poul Baekbo, of Danish agricultural research organisation SEGES VSP, told a Dutch agricultural newspaper that he hopes for a transition period, which would allow to search for alternatives. Never before has the EU applied such a period. In Denmark, ZnO is used often as a non-antibiotic solution to combat diarrhoea.

The UK’s National Pig Association already announced that it will fight a ZnO ban if indeed the European Commission will go on to accept the EMA recommendation. “It would also significantly hamper the pig sector’s drive to reduce antibiotic usage.”

Read the full article on Pig Progress.


  • David Burch

    We hope it is not so simple and clear cut Emmy. In the UK, East Anglia, where we rear 40% of our pigs and spread their muck for at least 20 years has the lowest zinc concentrations in soil. Another UK study showed that land used for corn production actually found zinc concentrations to fall in soil. Was this taken into account during the modelling. Countries like the Netherlands, which have problems with disposing of waste and have relatively high pig numbers are not necessarily representative of the whole EU and exceptions should be made for them rather than they be the rule.

  • Kotiba Kotiba

    It wil ban for pig or all spécu??

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