The weaning transition is on one of the most critical stages of the pig’s life. Zinc oxide (ZnO) in pharmacological doses has long been known as an effective way of preventing post-weaning diarrhea (PWD), and controlling E. coli infections.
While ZnO does effectively control PWD, the environmental impact of ZnO leaching into the soil and surrounding waterways has raised important questions about the sustainability of its widespread use. By June 2022, ZnO will only be authorized as a feed additive with a legal limit of 150 ppm total Zn. Veterinarian-prescribed treatments containing high doses of ZnO (2,000 ppm or more) will be discontinued to work towards a ZnO-free production.