Vall Companys SAU promotes research to improve the health of piglets

The company leads a project based on the development of new non-invasive fecal biomarkers to alleviate and prevent digestive problems in piglets.

Posted on Apr 06 ,00:10

Vall Companys SAU promotes research to improve the health of piglets

Vall Companys SAU, a company dedicated to animal breeding and livestock integration belonging to the Vall Companys Group, is committed to promoting research to improve the health of piglets. In this line, the company is part of a project to develop methods to identify new non-invasive fecal biomarkers of intestinal inflammation in piglets that allow anticipating the development of diseases.

To achieve this objective, a consortium has been formed made up of Vall Companys, as the main Spanish pig producer, MEVET (veterinary laboratory) and the research groups SNiBA and SBCV of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, who have extensive research experience in the field of animal nutrition and veterinary biochemistry.

It should be noted that weaning is a very stressful time for the piglet, which can lead to health problems that trigger post-weaning diarrhea. For more than 20 years, zinc oxide (ZnO) has been widely used at therapeutic levels in the swine industry as an effective way to prevent these types of ailments.

However, from June 2022, the use of medicinal doses of ZnO will not be authorized in the European Union, so the development of new strategies, both preventive and therapeutic, is urgently required to control this problem, since there are currently no clear alternative that can replace this compound.

Experts indicate that the solution may not depend solely on feed formulation, but should be given a multifactorial approach considering biosecurity, management, facilities and equipment. Likewise, having rapid diagnostic techniques using non-invasive biomarkers, as is the objective of this project, could represent a great advance in veterinary diagnosis in early stages, since they would allow rapid action on the farm in a palliative-preventive way against piglet digestive problems.

In addition, the use of feces as a sampling point has a very important advantage over other types of samples, such as blood, due to the ease of obtaining it and the fact that it does not imply stress for the animal.

This project has been financed within the framework of the call for projects in public-private collaboration 2021 of the State Research Agency of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and financed with European funds NextGenerationEU.

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