Alternatives for antibiotic growth promoters in animal production
Join forces to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production
Animal production is a costly business. The largest cost in meat production comes from animal feed. To improve the digestibility of the feed ingredients and maintain feed costs affordable for animal production different techniques can be used. One of the most successful ones has been the use of so-called ‘AGP’s’ (antibiotic growth promoters). These antibiotics are mixed with the feed to reduce inflammatory responses in the GI-tract and to limit (pathogenic) microbial growth. As the dosage of these in-feed antibiotics is very low it is thought that the performance enhancing effect of AGP’s is more a result of reducing the inflammatory response than of antimicrobial effects.
However, the use of AGP’s brings the risk of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria that used to be sensitive to a certain antibiotic gradually loose this sensitivity. Therefore, treatment with the antibiotic becomes less effective, needing higher dosages to reach the same level of effectiveness, or even loosing functionality completely. Antibiotic resistance reduces feed efficiency, but also poses a threat to consumers exposed through vicinity to animal production sites or when they consume animal derived products from animals treated with AGP’s which are insufficiently cooked. It is not really clear how much the contribution of the animal production sector is in the occurrence of antibiotic resistance in humans, but estimations vary between 0.1 and 50%! Therefore, legislation has become more and more strict regarding the use of AGP’s in animal production.
The WHO has estimated that death toll due to antibiotic resistance in humans will increase from less than 1 million today till 10 million a year by 2050 and will by far be the number one reason of mortality in humans.
Luckily there is also good news; research has shown that antibiotic resistance disappears when the use of antibiotics is reduced. The responsible use of antibiotics is therefore a responsibility of all of us. We can no longer separate human health from animal health. Global concepts like ‘one health’ promote the connection between human and veterinarian medicine to work together in creating a healthy world.
The animal feed industry contributes to improving a better world for humans and animals by reducing the use of AGP’s. various countries have already banned the use of AGP’s completely and many are following rapidly by banning more and more antibiotics from being used in animal production.
However, this has consequences for feed efficiency as without the AGP’s feed digestibility reduces. There is a big demand for (natural) alternatives to AGP’s.
At Phytobiotics we aim to develop and market tailor made (natural) solutions for our customers to improve their production efficiency and help them to reduce the impact of antibiotic resistance in their production chain. We have a line of products specially equipped to attend their needs and a team of local technical specialists which facilitates a quick response to customer demands.