The National Pork Board is funding five new projects studying alternatives to subtheraputic use of antibiotics in weaned pigs.

The projects selected represent diverse types of production systems and involve various industry specialists.

"Pork Checkoff has funded research for several years to better understand the science of antimicrobial resistance and to study alternatives," says Jill Appell, a pork producer from Altona, Ill., and chair of the Pork Checkoff Pork Safety Committee. "The ability to offer this research to producers, consumers and allied industry allows a better understanding of the issues. The projects are intended to give the pork industry information to be proactive in meeting challenges of responsible 21st century pork production."

The five projects selected for funding are:
1. Effect of Probiotics in the Health and Performance of Nursery Pigs Raised in Conventional or Antibiotic/Growth Promoter-Free Farms. Robert B. Morrison, University of Minnesota.
2. On-Farm Evaluation of Diet Acidification. James E. Pettigrew, University of Illinois.
3. Use of a Pig-Derived Competitive Exclusion Culture as an Alternative to Antibiotics to Control Colibacillosis in Weaned Pigs. Roger B. Harvey, USDA-ARS Food and Feed Safety Research Unit.
4. Inoculation of Bacterial Pathogens to Control Disease. Carlos Pijoan, University of Minnesota.
5. Effect of Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria on Health, Growth and Survival in the Weaned Pig. Lucy A. Ward, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

These demonstration projects identify a health and/or production challenge in nursery pigs, and are designed to develop potential solutions that involve non-antimicrobial interventions.

The projects also will provide measurement and data on results of the applied intervention. Results will be available to the public upon completion at www.porkboard.org, under Science and Technology.

National Pork Board