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Animal Remedy A World First

Hamilton company Stockguard Animal Health Ltd has successfully launched a new vitamin B12 supplement that is a global first, thanks to leading edge New Zealand research and technology.

Stockguard says its SMARTShot B12 is the first veterinary product available anywhere in the world that incorporates a unique “micro-encapsulation” technology.

The product provides a sustained release of vitamin B12 for animals and is a major breakthrough, says managing director Kevin Burke. It is the result of collaborative research between Stockguard laboratories and AgResearch, partly funded by Technology New Zealand, part of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

Vitamin B12 is contained in “microspheres” of polymer. After injection into the animal, the vitamin diffuses through the pores of the polymer as it is broken down. Larger vitamin B12 particles and those particles centrally contained within the larger “microspheres” are released more slowly.

“The supplement has a unique selling point – one shot lasts at least eight months in sheep, unheard of in most parts of the world,” Mr Burke says. “Conventional B12 injections need to be repeated every 3-4 weeks.”

He says the supplement has received wide acclaim from many of this country’s vets and farmers and from those in the United States that have been working with the technology.

“Farmers can make significant savings in time and costs because of its sustained action and convenience, and the health of their animals is being boosted at the same time.”

Soils in several areas of New Zealand are lacking in cobalt. In other areas manganese can block cobalt uptake, causing a vitamin B12 deficiency. The deficiency leads to marked decreases in growth rates of young stock, a loss of milk and fibre production and decreases in natural immunity to disease.

Mr Burke says that results from trial work and anecdotal evidence suggests the SMARTShot product brings tangible benefits to the livestock industry including improved:

· appetite in treated livestock;
· growth rates for earlier slaughter or healthier replacement stock;
· fertility and reproductive performance; · milk and fibre production;
· resistance to parasites and disease.

He says planned export of the product will bring further benefits to the wider New Zealand economy.

-ends-

Contact: · Kevin Burke, Stockguard Animal Health Ltd, Ph: (07) 849-6782. · Tony Hadfield Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (04) 917-8000 or 025 454-095. Website: www.technz.co.nz

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525, Email: ian@idcomm.co.nz


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