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, 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 several other countries, 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.