Alternatives to Antibiotics



Antibiotics in Agriculture

For decades, low levels of antibiotics have been included in livestock diets to promote digestive health and growth. Antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) have been highly effective at keeping animals healthy, producing more meat, milk or eggs per pound of feed and improving producers’ profitability. However, an increasing number of reports of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animal and human populations have raised doubts about the continued use of antibiotics, both as a treatment for humans and as an ingredient in animal feeds. Consumers have raised concerns about possible residual antibiotics in meat and milk. Consequently, AGPs have been severely restricted and even banned in the EU and other regions, with more countries such as India and China examining restrictions.

There are alternatives to AGPs to maintain health and performance. Good management practices, including biosecurity and hygiene procedures, can reduce the risk of infection on farms, reducing the need for antibiotic treatments. Natural nutritional additives have also demonstrated a positive impact on gut integrity, thereby improving animal performance.

Will we be remembered as the Greenest Generation? [+]