Kemin Intestinal Health CHANGE4GOOD virtual webinar for better pig health

Dr Rick Carter

Dr Peter McKenzie

On July 28, 2021 KEMIN ran its CHANG4GOOD webinar for audiences in Asia and Oceania.
The event and its speakers were introduced by Alex DeLyon, Head of Technical Services for Kemin Asia.
“In this webinar, CHANGE4GOOD, we will answer the question of how we can grow our animals in a safe, responsible, and sustainable manner and also meet the increasing challenge of our consumers on how we grow our food,” Alex said.
“This webinar is all about good management together with good products which lead to good outcomes.
“We take a perspective coming from the field by talking to farmers and key opinion leaders who work with producers on their farms.
“We will present some of the collective experiences of our leaders in making the changes that matter in the way that we grow our pigs.”
Pork Journal has, in this article, written an introduction to each speaker and mentioned key features of their presentations.
Kemin has provided links to a video recording of each presentation and we suggest that our readers view the presentations. All of them are significant in offering better solutions to their pigs’ health and productivity.
The event’s welcome presentation was delivered by Dr Mark Schipp, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Australia, who first thanked Kemin for the opportunity to deliver the opening address.
“I am sure that you are all familiar with ‘One Health’: we consider animal, human and environmental health and how they interact with each other.
”Resistance to antimicrobials is a natural phenomenon, but a rapid rise in bacterial load, disease and resistance occurs with poor husbandry and management or inappropriate use of antimicrobials,” Dr Schipp said.
“Poor biosecurity is an essential element in addressing these risks. On-farm biosecurity measures, such as quarantining new introductions to avoid entry of incubating diseases, are important.
“Environmental hygiene, air quality and visitor management are simple
approaches to improving animal health on farms,” he said. (
Dr Colin Cargill is one of Australia’s leading pig industry researchers and scientists. His work is internationally recognised and a lot of the management aspects of the Kemin and Dr Peter McKenzies ‘Health through stealth’ programs are based on his work.
‘Impacts of animal husbandry on production and health’ was the title of his presentation.
‘Why do pigs become sick?” Dr Cargill posed the question.{“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“ae96a039-a715-4eb9-b270-7f04440bb7ca”],”srcRootClientId”:””}
“Pigs usually become sick when exposed to a pathogen, micro- organisms, bacteria and viruses, parasites (internal or external), toxins from plants, bacteria fungi and chemicals,” he said.
“However, there are three other factors that influence health and production problems in the herd. They are environment, nutrition and the management system.
“On many farms it’s less about disease and more about the system,” he stated. (
The next speaker, Dr Peter McKenzie made his first appearance at the webinar with his explanation of ‘Why the 25 year old Madec/Cargil system is not the standard system’.
“Its clear benefits in pig production include reduction in PMWS and Strep Suis, pre and post weaning E.Coli, and chronic respiratory disease (especially APP and Mycoplasma).
“It also reduces the mixed enteric infections, especially Brachyspira, Lawsonia, Salmonella, and Clostridia.
With good management all of the above can be controlled to a large extent and there is a marked reduction in anti biotic use,” Dr McKenzie explained.
He then traced the 50 year history of antibiotic resistance starting in 1966 from a parliamentary report (The Swan committee into AB use in farm animals) conducted in the UK.
“The 100% ‘occupancy of space’ was an entrenched system advocated prior to the release of Madec and Cargill research findings.
“It was often haphazard in application where all space was regarded of equal value and it relied on significant antibiotic use.
“There was often poor ventilation, especially in winter and the methodology of continuous pig flow from birth to sale was extent.
“Shallow drains, making disinfection very difficult, was another feature that lead to a production system that is difficult to unravel.
“100% occupancy was good when antibiotics were very effective. Pig prices were high, feed prices low and new antibiotics were emerging.
“This came to an end when the dream of new and more effective antibiotics failed to materialise.
“Further factors involved human nature’s fear of change and reliance on others with new management protocols,” Dr McKenzie said. (
Nutritionist Chris Cameron next spoke about ‘Feeding and managing breeding females for healthy productivity’.
He covered two specific areas of feed management, gilt preparation and pre-lactation phase.
“It began with a recognition that the breeding animal required a different feed than the lactation sow and 20 years later the gilt developer diet was introduced,” Chris explained.
On the subject of gilt selection parameters, Chris stated that “body shape in both length and depth was critical and that problem gilts become problem sows”.
“It’s important to select from non-savaging mothers and make sure that they have a good appetite,” he advised.
“Some key reported on-farm outcomes of better feeding and management of breeding females were larger birth weights – typically litters than 20+ kgs.
“This means more vigorous newborns including the smaller pigs and less variation in individual birth weights.
“Also lower mortalities in both pre and post weaning and 100+ kg litter weaning weights at three weeks.
“There was also an improved weaning to service interval,” he concluded. (https:
Dr Rick Carter Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health, Asia Pacific, introduced his presentation on ALETA by explaining its function.
“ALETA works by priming the animal’s immune system to help the animal respond to challenges from pathogens,” he said.
He then quoted a statement from leading US scientist Kurt Clasing from University of California, Davis.
“The intensive genetic selection of livestock and poultry and reproduction for many decades may have diminished the immune system and consequently reduced disease resistance,” Dr Klasing predicted.
“Immune modulation is gaining interest in the context of antibiotic reduction programs.
“The intention, or concept, is to ‘prime’ the immune system so it can ‘stand by’ or be prepared and so, it sensitises the an{“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“ae96a039-a715-4eb9-b270-7f04440bb7ca”],”srcRootClientId”:””}imal’s immune system making it more responsive to challenges.
“In other words, it helps the animal to help itself by using its own immune system,” Dr Carter explained.{“type”:”bl{“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“ae96a039-a715-4eb9-b270-7f04440bb7ca”],”srcRootClientId”:””}ock”,”srcClientIds”:[“ae96a039-a715-4eb9-b270-7f04440bb7ca”],”srcRootClientId”:””}
ALETA contains beta –(1,3) –glucan from a micro aglgae (Eugenia gracilis); beta-(1,3)- glucan is a non-digestible carbohydrate and has a ‘molecular pattern’ recognised by the immune system because it can be found on the cell wall of bacteria.
“It can be detected by receptors in the innate immune system and triggers an immune response,” he said.
“The micro algae Eugiena gracilis is grown in large tanks and in the dark; this particular algae can both photosynthesise and grow in the dark provided the conditions are correct for it to grow.”
Dr Carter explained in some detail just how ALETA works in a four stage process starting with ingestion and finally resulting in the activation of the animal’s immune system.
Trials with ALETA responses to mice induced with colitis, illustrate the effectiveness of the product in reducing disease challenge.
A further trial illustrating the effect of ALETA on the growth performance of nursery pigs vs antibiotics + ZnO showed a 34% improvement in average daily gain and an improvement in feed conversion efficiency (
Dr Maauro Di Benedetto, the Head of Technical Services, Monogastric at Kemin Agrifoods Europa spoke next.
His topic, ‘Recent developments to control post-weaning E.coli or rather, we cannot make pigs fly but we can make them very healthy’.
He introduced his presentation by stating his ‘take home message at the start, not the end of his delivery.
“A good start is vital for healthy piglets and to achieve that advantage we need to start with the sow,” he said.
Dr Benedetto followed Dr Carters’s presentation by emphasising the benefits of ALETA.
“It increases the maternal anti-bodies production and transfer and helps young animals to mature their immune system. It also improves vaccine efficiency.
“ALETA assists animals to resist stressful conditions and offers reduced morbidity and mortality during pathogenic challenges,” he said.
“In antibiotic reduction and antibiotic growth promoter removal
programs, it supports animals through those processes.
“ALETA provides consistent ROI and avoids performance reduction is situations of disease and stress.”
The influence of ALETA on immune parameters of colostrum and piglet blood were explained and later Dr Benedetto revealed trial material showing that ALETA enhanced PRRS vaccination in piglets.(
Dr Peter McKenzie, in his second presentation, revealed key changes in the industry post Madec and Cargill.
“New problems include managing prolific sows that often are lacking in appetite, uterine size and milk, leading to smaller newborn and weaned pigs.
“Also post cervical AI generating more pigs born alive and reduced gestation feed resulting in less amino acids per foetus, as well as problems in group gestation,” Dr McKenzie said.
“On managing progeny, issues included often larger numbers of pigs per shed or site.
“Oxidising or rancid oils have become a more common dietary component and they tend to produce erratic results.
“Antibiotics are still a significant management tool and this creates a tendency towards high dosage and treating for longer.
“Recent research in Scotland has revealed that bacteria from diseased animals were highly resistant to disinfectant when compared to the lab strains used for registration purposes.
“Rural industries globally have difficulty in attracting enough good quality labour,” Dr McKenzie stated.(
The two producer ‘turnaround’ interviews conducted between Dr Peter McKenzie and Brenden McClelland (see Pork Journal May/June 2021) and Tina Sullivan, both located in the Darling Downs Queensland region, was a good and practical finale to the scientific and management content delivered in the Chang4Good event. (https:/
Ater the two producer videos were presented, Dr Alex De Lyon took the chair for a Q & A session. (
This webinar delivered vital information on management and product to improve animal health, productivity and ultimately, profitability.
The information was relevant to all operation sizes be they 5, 500, or 5000 sow operations.
In fact it could be argued that the smaller operations would benefit most from the information and methodologies delivered in the CHANGE4GOOD concept as they may not have the resources available to the producers running the bigger operations.
A lot of work went into the presentation of CHANGE4 GOOD.
At the Australian end, Kemin’s Matt Henry (Regional Sales Director), Dr Rick Carter (Technical Services Manager – Pacific) and in Singapore Francesca Lim (Marketing Manager Animal Nutrition and Health, Asia Pacific) all worked in often difficult circumstances to produce the webinar.
Dr Peter McKenkie and his ‘Health through Stealth’ methodologies based on the teachings of Madec and Cargill, have been a key driver of the enterprise.
Pork Journal has been proud to be able to report on the CHANGE4GOOD event and would also like to acknowledge the help of ace lensman Aidan Gale from Your Film, who recorded the producer interviews with Dr Peter McKenzie, Brenden McClelland and Tina Sullivan.
Please use the links provided and benefit from the combined experience of experts in many aspects of modern pig production in both Australia and our region.