According to the Manitoba Pork Council, roughly one quarter of the province's pork producers have stopped using needles and syringes and switched to needle-free administration of medications and vaccines.

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives introduced a program that gave pork producers enrolled in the Canadian Quality Assurance (CQA) Program rebates of up to $2,000 for the purchase of a needle-free injector. Of the 620 farms in the CQA Program, 150 have purchased or are in the process of purchasing a gun.

Advertisement

"By not having a needle penetrate the skin of an animal, you do bring at least three big areas of improvement," said Miles Beaudin of the Manitoba Pork Council. "Needle-less injectors don't have needles, so there's no needle to break in the animal. Another big advantage of using needle-less technology is that there is a significant reduction of disease transmission between injections. The third area where there's a major improvement is there's a better uptake in medication from the animal, so the animal itself can respond better to the medication, equal to or better than using a needle and syringe."

According to Beaudin, money should be available under the program for the next two years.