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Needle-free injections could improve food safety

Needle-free injections could improve food safety

New technology has many advantages, Olymel veterinarian says



By Kaitlynn Anderson

Staff Reporter


Swine producers may want to adopt needle-free injection systems to administer vaccines to their animals.

This technology can provide many benefits, Dr. Jeff Bergermann, corporate veterinarian for Olymel, said in today’s Farmscape interview.

“Safety would be one of the big advantages of using a needle-free device,” he explained.

Safety involves that of both workers and food production, as producers don’t have to worry about broken needles.

Such devices may also require less time to administer vaccines than traditional injections.

“The vaccination process takes 0.3 seconds to happen,” Bergermann said.

The device holds many other benefits, according to Bergermann, including:

-        Efficiency: When all animals receive the same dosage, producers can set up the device once and then carry out multiple vaccinations.

-        Environmental relief: Producers do not have to use and dispose of syringes.

-        Comfort: The technology is relatively painless.

-        Increased productivity: Needle-free technology can “improve the vaccine’s function by helping to get the (product) to a larger amount of … cells and help to produce a better immune response.”

While there are many benefits to needle-free technology, there are also some drawbacks.

“There are a lot of moving parts,” said Bergermann. The technology “requires regular repair and maintenance.”

The devices also come with investment and training costs.

“Training is partially responsible for the success of the program. So, if staff understand the advantages of the (technology) and why we (use) it, (and are) knowledgeable of and efficient in using the technology, it really helps to make it a successful venture.”

While the needle-free devices can have large upfront costs, “many producers are surprised when they look at the amount of money they are spending on syringes, needles and disposal (services),” said Ed Stevens, president of Pulse Needle-Free Systems.

And, employers may train their employees on proper handling techniques with ease.

Workers “quickly get the hang of the equipment and maintenance only takes a few minutes per week,” said Stevens.

Producers can eliminate some of the worries associated with regular needles by using needle-free injectors, he added.

By using the technology, farmers can ensure animals receive the full dose of vaccines.

Producers also “don’t have to worry about… their employees changing needles or accidentally leaving a broken needle in a meat product,” said Stevens.

For more information on needle-free injection systems, producers can read this fact sheet from Gordon Moore of Moore Ag Safety.


Photo source: Pulse Needle-Free Systems

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