Solving the Antibiotic-Free Production Puzzle

Solving the Antibiotic-Free Production PuzzleA major industry topic

“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is clearly a major issue,” observed Daniel B Pearson of Aviagen. “As Veterinary Health Director for the largest supplier of broiler breeding stock in Europe, I have found that over 50% of my time has been spent in various ways on the AMR topic, and there is no sign of this stopping.”

The possibilities offered by genetics, the use of antibiotics, healthy breeding stock and the advice all relate to the role of a breeding company in this regard.

Incremental progress

For broiler producers, an antibiotics reduction strategy can be likened to a sliding puzzle where each tile can be moved just one position at a time, according to Ellen van Eerden, Poultry Nutrition Researcher at Schothorst.

“Poultry nutritionists who work towards antibiotic reduction want to move in a certain direction, but that requires carefully moving around nutritional requirements, feedstuff quality, intestinal challenges, management factors, bird quality and immune status, genetic potential, etc.,” she explained.

Integrated approach

A back-to-basics mindset can be instructive. “What are the real needs of animals which can grow to 2.5kg in less than 39 days?” asked Mark Karimi, Technical Sales Manager at BIOMIN.

Addressing the challenges associated with ABF production requires a holistic approach that includes genetics, nutrition, biosecurity and farm management in order to achieve profitable success.

“Everyone asks themselves the same question: ‘am I getting the very best from my birds, or I can get even more?’” he added.

Tackling resistance

“When it comes to overcoming antimicrobial resistance, a combined approach is needed,” noted Nataliya Roth, Development Scientist at BIOMIN. “Antibiotics helped to keep bacterial infections under control and save countless lives. Now those valuable substances need to be protected in order to keep their activity in the future. That means keeping antibiotic use as low as possible, and finding other ways to prevent infection and promote growth,” she added.

The use of feed additives with demonstrated antimicrobial effects, such as phytogenics, acids and probiotics, provides an effective tool for replacement of antibiotics, as shown time and again in trial results. In addition, “farm management and biosecurity measures can prevent the transmission of genes for resistance. Antibiotics should only be used following effective diagnosis in the context of disease treatment.”

Continued support

“The challenges of antibiotic reduction are a near universal topic that affects poultry producers globally,” remarked Luca Vandi, Technical and Regional Marketing Officer EMA at BIOMIN, adding “this event illustrates the merits of a genuinely multidisciplinary approach—and not simply repackaging existing products –old wine in new casks— as some feed additive manufacturers have done.”

“At BIOMIN we have invested significant resources in R&D on the ABF topic. We believe that a combination of real scientific innovation and education are the best way to support the poultry industry. The latter includes an expert team of technical sales managers to provide on-site advice to clients, conferences and forums, and multimedia education materials e.g. webinars and our Science & Solutions magazine,” he concluded.