Index > Division of Animal Industry
Division of Animal Industry


The primary goal of the Division is achieving "efficiency, safety and sustainability" by studying animal nutrition, environmental biotechnology, pig farm management information technology, artificial insemination technology, animal welfare and related extension services.

The Division has studied the effects of dietary carbohydrate, lactoferrin, POD (Polyelectrolyte Oxygen Detoxifier), organic acids, amino acid levels, organic chromium and nucleotides in improving pig growth performance. The Division developed pig farm management and information technology to increase adoption of wine power and provide farmers with market information to optimize their pig trading activity. Management costs are rapidly increasing because owing to rising international feed costs. The annual feeding cost for a 100kg pig has reached NT$ 5,365, and continues to rise, negatively impacting pig farm incomes. The technique of batch pig production is being implemented to improve pig growth rates, and not only is improving growth rates and pig numbers, but is also increasing industry incomes. The Division has also adopted the cold preservation of semen, new packaging materials, and introduced a new strain of black pig.

In relation to humane treatment of animals, to comply with Animal Protection laws, the Division offered 30 training courses, issued more than 5,300 certifications related to humane transportation and reduced lameness in moving animals from live pig auction markets to slaughterhouses. Furthermore, the Division designed and patented a sanitary pig blood collection system and a stunner for humane poultry slaughter in traditional markets. Regarding environmental biotechnology, we evaluated a greenhouse gas mitigation strategy for pig farms.

In relation to meat hygiene, the Division focused on screening toxins in feed materials, supplementation of ruminant feed with meat-bone meal, and drug residues in feed and blood. At present, instruments are becoming increasingly precise and demand is growing for high quality livestock products. The Division has been supporting equipment containing gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS), height performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Besides developing methods for analyzing livestock products, the Division also offers commissioned analysis services.

Additionally, routine monitoring was conducted on both HACCP and Good Pig Farm practice certified pig farms. The Division is also assisting the Council of Agriculture in accrediting traceability for livestock products, ensuring the safety of animal-derived food products for all consumers.

  • Animal Nutrition and Analytical Techniques
    • 1.Dietary POD to improve growth performance in starters and growing-finishing pigs
      • Dietary POD to improve growth performance in starters and growing-finishing pigs POD has the ability to absorb ions and toxins and is added to swine feed to increase production efficiency. To examine the effect of POD on growth performance in pigs from weaning to market weight, 56 crossbred pigs (BW 8.5 kg) were randomly allotted to the control or POD groups, each of which contained seven replicates. The starter period ran for 7 weeks, with 5 kg of POD added to each ton of feed, and the growing-finishing period was 15 weeks with 4 kg of POD added per ton of feed. During the starter period, POD significantly increased daily gain by 9.8% (447 vs. 491 g/d) and improved feed conversion ratio by 5.8% (1.743 vs. 1.642) with no effect on feed intake (778 vs. 805 g/d). POD did not influence daily gain, feed intake or feed conversion ratio in the growing-finishing period. Therefore, POD may improve growth performance during the starter period due to increased nutrient absorption or immune protection.
    • 2.Organic acids for stimulating growth and reducing diarrhea in weanling pigs
      • Organic acids are commonly used in post-weaning diets. To investigate the effect of organic acids on growth performance and diarrhea index in post-weaning pigs, 120 LYD crossbred pigs were weaned at the age of 28 days and randomly allotted among 5 treatments, with 6 replicates per treatment. The treatments included an additive free control, 1, 3 and 5 kg of A organic acids, and 2 kg B organic acids for 28 days. Dietary organic acids decreased feed pH. Pigs fed the diets supplemented with 3 or 5 kg A organic acids had higher final body weight (17.17, 17.77, 18.22, 18.25, 17.85 kg) and daily gain (338, 361, 376, 378, 364 g/d). All organic acids stimulated feed intake (5-9%) without affecting feed conversion ratio. Dietary organic acids decreased diarrhea index by 28-54% during days 0-14; however, fecal counts of Lactobacillus and E.coli  at day 28. Dietary organic acids thus increase feed intake and daily gain in weanling pigs and somewhat reduce diarrhea.
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    • 3.Dietary amino acid levels in growing-finishing pigs during summer
      • To investigate dietary amino acid requirements for growing-finishing pigs in the summer (temperature 33-34C), 72 crossbred growers (BW 30.2 kg) were randomly allotted  among three dietary amino acid treatments: 0.9, 1.0, or 1.1% lysine for growers, and 0.8, 0.9, or 1.0% lysine for finishers. The other essential amino acids were formulated according to the ideal protein concept. The study ended at BW 113 kg. Dietary amino acids did not affect feed intake for growers or finishers. During the growing period, daily gain increased by 6.4% with 1.0% lysine and 13.2% with 1.1% lysine. The effect on daily gain was less pronounced in finishers than in growers. Compared with 0.9% lysine in growers, F/G  improved by 5.6% with 1.0% lysine and 7.9% with 1.1% lysine. In contrast, finishers exhibited no dietary effect on F/G. Overall, during the growing-finishing period, pigs fed a high lysine diet displayed better daily gain and F/G than did pigs fed a low lysine diet.
    • 4.Effect of dietary organic chromium and nucleotides on growth and carcass of finishing pigs in summer
      • This study assessed the effect of dietary supplementation with organic chromium (from yeast) and nucleotides on the growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing pigs raised in summer. Forty-eight crossbred pigs (BW 80 kg) were randomly assigned to 3 treatments with 4 replicates per treatment and 4 pigs per replicate (half barrow and gilts). Pigs were fed diets supplemented with 0 ppb of organic chromium and nucleotides, 200 ppb of organic chromium and 250 ppb of nucleotides, or 200 ppb of organic chromium and 500 ppb of nucleotides from June to July until they reached 120 kg body weight (about 40-50 days). Average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG) and feed to gain ratio (F/G) were measured. Loineye area and backfat thickness (one barrow and one gilt/replicate) were also measured upon completion of the study. The analytical results indicated that dietary supplementation with organic chromium and nucleotides increased ADFI (2.08, 2.59, 2.41 kg/d), ADG (0.64, 0.84, 0.77 kg/d) and loineye area (54.9, 60.3, 59.4 cm2), but not F/G (3.24, 3.10, 3.15) and backfat thickness (2.64, 2.80, 2.71 cm). In conclusion, dietary supplementation with organic chromium and nucleotides improved the growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing pigs in a heat-stressed environment.
    • 5.Effect of carbohydrate and lactoferrin on the antibacterial activity and organic acid production of lactobacillus
      • This study examined the effect of antibacterial activity and organic acid production in the co-culture of Lactobacillus with either E.coli or Salomella in the glucose, FOS, or lactoferrin. The test strains were Lactobacillus pentosus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei, E. coli H09-171, E. coli P00-267 and Salmonella. Lactobacillus was cocultured with E. coli or Salmonella in the mediums containing 0.6% glucose, FOS, or lactoferrin. After 24, 48 and 72 hrs the numbers of individual bacteria strains were detected, and organic acids were analyzed. The analytical results show that adding glucose to Lactobacillus co-cultures can reduce numbers of bacteria, 106 CFU/ml of E. coli or Salmonella to < 100 CFU/ml after 24-hr culture. Other test groups do not display this effect. All cultured mediums analyzed by HPLC contain lactic acid and acetic acid. The glucose group with the strongest antibacterial activity also has the highest lactic acid content, with mean 106.14 mm. The lactic acid content of this group is 2.6-7.4 times that of the other test groups. This study shows that the concentration of lactic acid produced by Lactobacillus in the glucose group was higher (P < 0.05) than in the FOS group. Furthermore, the glucose group exhibited better antibacterial activity than the other groups, especially in the 24-hr cultures.
  • Environmental Biotechnology and Green Energy
    • 1.Evaluation of greenhouse gas mitigation strategies for pig farms
      • Annual site inspections of pig farms during 2000 revealed average biogas production of  0.005 m3/head/d. Measured methane was low because the sampling method involved installing a gas flow meter in the anaerobic tank next to where the gas cylinder pressure releases through a constant flow tube and the measured methane is low. Recent studies instead positioned the biogas flow meter where the piping of the anaerobic gas tank concentrates the methane, a method expected to detect the actual amount of gas. Preliminary results indicate that the northern, central and southern farms had average methane production of 0.079, 0.13 and 0.063 m3/head/d. In the future, the EPA will require the livestock industry to participate in national greenhouse gas monitoring and control, with the aim of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions.Three-stage wastewater treatment system and lagoon system are completely different, with differences including the seasonal temperature variations, numbers of pigs washing in the water, and particularly solid-liquid separation for individual farms, due to differences in daily concentration of solids in generated wastewater. High summer temperatures usually mean pigs are washed twice daily, either though showers or Water usage increased leading to higher waste water volumes in summer than in winter. based on rough calculations, average greenhouse gas outputs were CH4 (14.39 and 13.95 kg / head / yr), CO2 (18.95 and 18.46 kg / head / yr) and N2O (0.099 and 0.115 kg / head / yr).
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    • 2.Wind power on pig farms
      • Global warming is a hot issue, leading all nations to prioritize energy conservation. Taiwan exhibits a clear seasonal alternation between the Northeast and Southwest monsoons, creating rich wind power resources that make Taiwan ideal for the set up installation of medium and/or small scale wind-power generation capacity. Small wind electricity generators are already adequate for general family use. Farms located in good wind spots can similarly obtain auxiliary power from nature by installing wind powered electricity generation. Preliminary examination has shown that 3.5kw/hr and 1.5kw/hr installations can provide 895 kwh to 301 kwh daily over 1 month test periods. Installing wind powered electricity generation capacity offers a useful means for domestic pig farms to supplement their energy needs. Mother nature can provide supplementary power to pig farms located in suitable spots.
    • 3.Comparison of batch production growth performance on pig farms
      • Pig farms use batch production to provide an appropriate environment for swine. Comparing the farrow-to-finish pig farms of single area batch production with the multiple area production pig farms promoted by the government can reveal whether the government promoted model achieves improvements in growth performance, including market live weight and rearing days of market pigs.
  • Management Information and Technology
    • 1.Survey and analysis of the operational benefits of pig farms
      • Management software based on Windows has already been developed and made available to farrow-to-finish pig farmers. Another service provided to producers is analysis of pig reproductive performance and production costs. Thirty-nine farrow-to-finish pig farms joined this program in 2011, and achieved the following mean performance values: 1.97 litters per sow per year, 9.89 live born piglets per litter, 42.76% sow cull rate, 80.61% market pig survival rate, 14.42 annual production of market pigs per sow, and average 100 kg pig production cost and market price of NT$ 6,727 and NT$ 7,305, respectively, representing a profit of NT$ 578 per 100 kg pig (Table 2). Figure 2 shows a breakdown of pig farm production costs.   The data showed that  pigs from multiple batch production pig farms exhibited a 6kg weight increase at day 196, an 11.6kg decrease at 11.6 days, and an increase of 30g in average daily gain [relative to other pigs (Table 3). Overall, the pig farms using batch production of multiples area not only exhibited improved survivability and pig growth rate and lower feeding costs, but also improved operating income.
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  • Pig Breeding Program
    • 1.Effectiveness of the HTK solution to cold preservation of boar semen
      • This study evaluates the effectiveness of solutions originally developed for organ preservation (HTK) and transplantation when applied to cold preservation of boar semen. The results showed that removal of seminal plasma did not affect spermatozoa motility. When preserved at 4oC, the deformed sperm count of semen samples from which seminal plasma was removed was significantly higher (P<0.05)。HTK could act as a short-acting preservation solution at 16oC. Semen samples were divided with 25oC HTK and slowly cooled to 4oC, and their sperm motility still averaged 50% after 24h.
    • 2.Effect of packaging material heat preservation during semen transport
      • The existing approach to delivery of boar semen for AI is preservation in a styrofoam box at 15-18℃, with delivery occurring under ambient temperatures that range between 10-40℃ and vary with season. This study tested semen preservation (15-18℃) in a box exposed to a constant temperature during transport. DICKSON electronic thermometers were used for temperature monitoring, and styrofoam box with four packing materials was compared to identify the most effective material in terms of preservation. The results showed that at low temperature, water outperformed cotton, paper and air cushion. However, the effectiveness of all four materials only lasted two hours. In contrast, water immersion combined with wrapping in a layer of paper with two ice bottles (400ml) could preserve cold for up to six hours. The conclusion thus was that water is essential to buffering temperature effects.
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    • 3.A new hybrid strand local black pig
      • Consumers increasingly are demanding juicer and more tender pork with high marbling. In response, pig breeders are focusing on using introduced Berkshire sires to produce a new strand that simultaneously caters to the desires of consumers and meat packers. The life weight of this new hybrid averaged 123.75 kg, with carcass weight 98.8 kg, carcass length 85.5 cm and slaughter rate 86.03%, back fat 1.38 cm, lean meat 52.36%, and loin area 5.94 inh2. The retail cut data were boneless arm 4.9 kg, sliced bacon 10.12 kg, loin 7.18 kg, tenderloin 1.53 kg, trapezius 0.55 kg, ham 16.86 kg, arm shoulder 10.36 kg. The data thus was better in all respects than the LYD pigs.  Moreover, the color grade of loin eye averaged 3, while its marbling grade ranged between 2.38 to 3.5.
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  • Animal Welfare
      • Growing consumer awareness of animal welfare issues is stimulating demand for animal welfare friendly training courses. To comply with animal protection laws, training packages on the humane handling, transportation and slaughter of pigs have been introduced and extended to producers. Training in humane pig handling was conducted in 23 pig auction markets in Taiwan and achieved an approximately 60%~80% reduction in lameness. Thirty training courses related to humane transport and slaughter were provided, resulting in the issue of 5,300 official certifications to drivers and slaughter house staff, and an official training package was developed for future use. Furthermore, a pig blood collecting system was designed and a stunner for the humane slaughter of poultry in traditional markets was designed and patented. Additionally, a "Humane Product Certification" system was implemented to improve husbandry and hopefully produce premium product. Seven farms, including those for pigs, poultry and water fowl, were animal welfare certified in 2011.
  • Extensions
    • 1.Accreditation product traceability
      • In 2011, a total of 15 pig farms and four poultry farms qualified for Animal Production Traceability and were certified by the ATIT TGAP group.
    • 2.Consulting service for food safety systems
      • The division assisted more than 20 units, including feed and drug factories, pig farms, poultry farms, processing plants and slaughter houses, in successfully obtaining national and international ISO22000/HACCP certificates in 2011.
    • 3.Veterinary drug residue analysis laboratory
      • The Drug Chemistry Laboratory assisted in implementing an Agricultural Produce Information Traceability System in 2011, and the division analyzed 83 feed, 51 pig blood, 12 egg, 3 muscle and 2 water samples for veterinary drug residue according to TGAP specifications. A crisis involving phthalates pollution of food occurred in the middle of the year, and the laboratory consequently received fast tracked status as a Taiwan Food and Drug Administration recognized analysis business. The laboratory tested 162 food and drug samples for phthalates in response to requests by the authorities and the public. Besides residue analysis, the laboratory developed a method for analyzing veterinary drugs. The project of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine successfully developed two methods of multi-residue detection for 16 coccidiostats in feed, and for the determination of seven kinds of 59 items of antibiotics and hormones multi-class residue in livestock and poultry. These new methods not only expanded the analytical capabilities of the laboratory, but also prevented drug residue and thus protected consumer meat safety

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