Are they telling porkies?
E-Coli diarrhoea amongst newborn piglets is a major problem within the agricultural industry. The antibiotic cure is often labour-intensive to administer to large numbers of sows, and subsequently costly. Therefore when research was undertaken to investigate the effect of homeopathic remedies on pigs in the last month of gestation, many farmers were eager to find out the results.
The study was conducted on a commercial farm in the Netherlands by The Biological Farming Systems Group at the Wageningen University. It included assigning fifty-two sows (none of which had been vaccinated against E.Coli) to either a placebo group, or homeopathic treatment group, for the investigation. The 525 piglets that were born from these sows were monitored for frequency and duration of diarrhoea.
The results published in the journal Homeopathy in January 2010, showed that the placebo group suffered over 6 times more diarrhoea than the homeopathic group. Moreover, within the homeopathic treatment group, the diarrhoea was less severe, there was less transmission and the duration appeared shorter.
Since a high use of antibiotics can cause problems within animal health, and, in the organic sector the amount of antibiotics given to livestock is restricted, this investigation provides farmers with a safer and less expensive alternative to conventional treatment.
This article was first published in an ARH Newsletter in May 2010