[ASC-media] MAKING MONEY FROM SMALL CHANGE: Intervet-Schering Plough Animal Health media release

BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Mar 24 01:08:39 CET 2010

                   March 24, 2010


Small changes in reproductive performance in piggeries can translate into
big economic gains, according to Hilduard Swarts, Global Marketing Director,
Global Swine Business Unit, Intervet-Schering Plough Animal Health.

Netherlands-based and an internationally recognised specialist in the
application of breeding technologies on pigs farms, Mr Swarts addressed
about 200 producers and industry stakeholders in all mainland Australian
states last week on manipulating reproduction in pigs.

"For example, if a producer manages to improve sow output from 21 to 22
piglets a year, profits may double, despite a change in piglets numbers of
only about five per cent," he said.

His presentations covered batch farrowing, manipulating heat cycles, fixed
time insemination and the importance of production parameters on financial

Mr Swarts told producers that a good start to improving sow productivity and
therefore piggery profitability was to induce heat on schedule by using
specific hormonal treatments to initiate cycling.

"Synchronising heats gives you the best use of housing and easier batch
farrowing of piglets by age, allowing you to move them all to the one place
at the one time," he said.

Mr Swarts said that batch farrowing was very popular in Europe, especially
in France, where producers enjoyed its many management benefits, including a
change in mindset to "I don't have individual sows, but, rather, I have 20

Synchronising heat in cycling gilts and sows, by using the Intervet-SP oral
progesterone-like product to inhibit the hormones that promote development
of egg folicles within the ovaries, was simply a matter of feeding the
medication for 18 consecutive days and then stopping. This removed the
inhibitory effects of progesterone, allowing normal oestrus cycling to

"Ovulation induction then allows you to better manage artificial
insemination, including using less semen and you can generally manage your
staff and piggery breeding unit more efficiently and more profitably," Mr
Swarts said.

"Staff rostering improves and the need for highly skilled and expensive
labour lessens."

Another advantage of ovulation induction, using Intervet-SP technology, was
that oestrus detection was no longer necessary, but simply needed to be

"The oral progestagen treatment is a very flexible tool for planning the
onset of follicular development and can especially improve productivity in
gilts," he said.

Several studies in a number of countries also showed an increase of about
0.7 piglets born alive per litter, when the treatment was used.

"While this particularly applied to parity one and early weaned sows, it was
also observed in gilts," Mr Swarts said.

He explained that feeding the progestagen for nine days after weaning
allowed parity one sows more time for endocrine and uterine recovery and a
greater parity two litter size.

New South Wales-based Amanda Vardanega, National Swine Manager with
Intervet-Schering Plough Animal Health, hosted the Victorian, NSW,
Queensland, SA and WA seminars with Mr Swarts.  She said the feedback from
producers was that they welcomed his international perspective on how best
to maximise pig reproductive performance.

"While Australia's pork production sector has access to reasonable genetics,
quality feed and a relatively skilled workforce, there's always room for

"A real difference can be made to producers' bottom lines by introducing
world-leading technologies to improve productivity and that's where
Intervet-SP can help by giving producers face-to-face access with Hilduard
Swarts, a recognised leader in the field," she said.

Pork producers wanting to explore manipulating reproductive performance in
their breeding herds should discuss different approaches with a veterinarian
skilled in pig medicine.


Authorised by Intervet-Schering Plough Animal Health and issued on its
behalf by

Brendon Cant & Associates, Tel 08 9384 1122

MEDIA CONTACT: Amanda Vardanega, Mob 0427 011 579

INTERVET REPRO.doc/Dalgleish230310

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