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Post-antibiotic era in the poultry industry?

Antibiotic growth promotion in agricultural animal production has been practiced for about 50 years. Antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) have undoubtedly improved animal performance and health status. Their removal from the poultry diets will therefore be a change with many consequences.

Removal of AGPs is currently one of the most important concerns in the poultry industry. Are improvements in biosecurity measures and management practices in poultry operations adequate to minimize consequences of AGP removal?

It has been clear from the very early studies that diets can influence the microflora of the intestinal tract and as a result, response to antibiotic growth promoters can also be affected. With removal of antibiotics from feed and subsequent changes in microbial population of the intestinal tract, interaction between diet and microflora has become even more prominent.

These interactions will make the intestinal environment more challenging which may then affect performance and health status of the host animal. Gut health and possible ways to maintain intestinal integrity have been one of the main areas in poultry research projects in recent years.

Removal of AGPs from poultry feed and subsequent increases in infections in animals, despite efforts to improve animal production management practices, have resulted in a substantial increase in the use of therapeutic antibiotics for food animals in Europe.

The efforts and expenditure involved in the imposition of the ban would have been better spent on achieving rational antibiotic use in humans and animals, and on much greater efforts to understand the complex epidemiology of antibiotic resistance.

Although sub-therapeutic (in-feed) use of antibiotics has been banned in Europe, there are many countries in different parts of the world that still rely on in-feed antibiotics. It is difficult, therefore, to assess the success of current efforts to establish practical approaches as replacement for antibiotic growth promoters on a global basis.

Is there any alternative?
All evidence suggests that it is unlikely that a single economically viable replacement to AGPs could be implemented. It has become increasingly clear that a multi-factorial approach is needed to address the challenges specific to the on-farm situation.

An effective alternative to in-feed antibiotics should have a significant and sustainable beneficial impact on animal production (e.g. feed efficiency, body weight gain) and health, be proven safe for both the animal and human population, be easy to apply and store and provide a substantial return on investment.

Is this alternative currently available to the poultry industry or will be in the near future?

Cost-effectiveness is a very important determinant when we want to implement a new strategy in the poultry industry. How is this trend (alternative to antibiotics) going on in your region? Is it a major concern for the industry and public? What do you think about ban of prophylactic use of antibiotics and its subsequent effects on the poultry industry in your country?

10 comments

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    Dr.R.Ravi

    Alternative to antibiotics are
    Use of Probiotics or
    Prebiotics
    Use of Organic acids in feed

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    hamid keshtmand

    I agree to cut off the use of antibiotics in poultry feeds.To day we should look more to use probiotcs in feeds.

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    Waxon Tembo

    While the use of antibiotics in feed was for a good purpose, farmers and millers have abused it. Animals are not suppose to live their lives on antibiotics. Biosecurity is the only good way of living. Farmers and Millers should also consider the consequences these pose to humans as a result of residue that remain in the carcass due to abuse of these antibiotics. Farmers must emphasize on hygiene for all their operations. If the World can embrace the word PREVENTION by observing high standard of hygiene, the world can be a better place for all of us.

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    fariborz

    use of probiotic

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    Robert Gauthier d.v.m.

    This subject is really not new for the EU producers and the poultry producers in Latin America that are exporting to the EU and Japan. I agree that a multifactorial approach is needed but there are already ways to do it economically. Organic acids (protected, low dosage) are probably the most efficacious products when used as a single additive. And technologically and economically they are workable. Other solutions have to be used in combination with other strategy and cost become an issur.

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    Poultry vet USA

    There is a new vaccine against necrotic enteritis that has recently been launched in the USA. Field trial results shown indicate this product may be very effective and may replace the need for in-feed medication or water treatment with antibiotics.

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    ali ahmed

    yes the abuse of antibiotics should be banned but countries where highest standards can not be observed fully must use them carefully.

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    Dr Ravi Pachaiappan

    Ban on antibiotics is a welcome move, at the same time it poses a greater risk for the profitable poultry farming, from our experience and field trials we found use of FOS plus some protected organic acids are successfully tested for the performance in poultry, sure they are promising products of the future

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    alberto quiogue

    I have been using 2 probiotic products with good results in terms of animal performance and health status. These are Genesis and Gallali Herbal extracts both manufactured by Gallali IZW Farm Products.
    Check out their website www.gallali.com.
    The company also encourages Integrated Zero Waste.

  • SH Harsan

    We have 3 years until now for not using antibiotics for our laying hen and have better egg production (quality and productivity) compare to when we were using it.
    There's no doubt for us that the right choose of probiotics is better for production and even on sick condition (bacterial dissease). So why don't we change our mindset to do the right and the better choice to produce better food for all of us.

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