The growing use of tin in consumer products such as smartphones, iPods and lithium batteries has been well documented and awareness among consumers is growing. However, the use of tin compounds in animal healthcare has been limited to date, but is proving to be innovative and growth in this potential market looks promising.

The International Tin Research Institute (ITRI) has been following the use of tin in the development of a range of animal healthcare formulations for preventing and treating skin diseases in bovine, equine, canine and other animal sectors.

In the United States, leading animal healthcare players such as Pfizer have used tin compounds in their products to treat and heal hoof wounds and infections and to kill bacteria in foot baths for dairy cattle. Formulas used in antimicrobial applications comprise of tin fluoride and zinc sulphate.

The potential market for the use of tin in animal healthcare is difficult to assess at this point, but ITRI and others are confident that its use will expand as demand increases and its successful application continues to be noticed.

Although tin may be getting its feet wet in animal healthcare, it remains a critical new metal for many new technological breakthroughs. The challenge the industry faces is the potential supply squeeze with Peru closing its largest mine, and production in Peru and Indonesia slowing down with China flatlining.

For tin to continue to explore potential new markets and applications, production of new supplies is needed.

Sources: ITRI, FDA