Update on zinc oxide use in pigs


Pig in straw

At Red Tractor, we recognise the importance of zinc oxide in protecting piglet health and welfare and minimising the use of antibiotics.

Zinc oxide has been used for many years to reduce diarrhoea in piglets after weaning. However, new European Union regulation will ban therapeutic use of zinc oxide from June 2022 because of the potential risks it poses to the environment.

The UK is aligned with this regulation as it was passed by the European Commission in 2017, prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Find out more about this on the government’s website.

The Pigs Sector Board has agreed that Red Tractor will align with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate position and allow the use of medicinal levels of zinc oxide, under veterinary prescription, beyond 26 June 2022, up until expiry of product shelf life.

We hope this decision reassures members and provides them with adequate time to consider alternative strategies.

On 15 February 2022, the AHDB will hold a webinar on managing without zinc oxide which may be of interest to members. Visit the AHDB website to find out more and book a spot.