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Friday, November 21st Alltech's 19th Asia-Pacific Lecture Tour topped the 2000 attendee mark as the tour concluded in Melbourne, Australia. After 16 stops in 13 countries, the tour was deemed a tremendous success in answering the questions of producers, nutritionists and vets related to the topic of gut health.
Professor Peter Spring of the Swiss Agricultural College urged producers to first focus on the nutrition of the breeder to optimise the quality of the day old animal. The transfer of passive immunity from parent to child is critical to minimize the immunity gap. Focus should be on ensuring early and substantial intake of quality colostrum. He emphasized the vital and protective effect of the gut microflora in enabling the young animal to withstand disease challenge. Methods for managing microflora include using acids, maximizing diet digestibility through the application of enzymes and controlling the number of pathogens that attach to the gut by using products such as Bio-Mos?.
Dr. Alastair Johnston of the Minster Veterinary Practice looked at the concepts of fighting diseases from the perspective of a veterinarian working in an environment in which antibiotic growth promoters will soon be banned. Poultry intestinal integrity is challenged by the 3 major gut diseases, including coccidiosis, necrotic enteritis and dysbacteriosis. He urged producers to minimize the non-specific use of therapeutic levels of antibiotics in all production systems to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance in animals. Citing data from South Asia, in which 12 major antibiotics were found to be ineffective against E. coli. Dr. Johnston suggested alternative methods of disease control such as:
Dr. Ronan Power, of Alltech, shared a picture of the future with attendees of the lecture tour in his talk: ?EUR~Nutritional Augmentation of the Natural Barrier Functions of the Gastrointestinal Tract.' He indicated that natural approaches to improve gut health should be cost effective, sustainable, farm specific. Any intervention needs to be science-based but practical i.e. simple to use. Explaining the growing field of nutrigenomics, Dr. Power detailed how researches can now look at the response of various genes to elements of nutrition and thereby determine which genes need to be ?EUR~switched on' or off to reduce an animal's stress response. Animals under less stress physiologically can devote more nutrients to growth and less to fighting disease.
Dr. Pearse Lyons, President of Alltech, concluded each lecture tour stop with an inspirational talk about the lessons learned in 25 years of business. Quoting the late Peter Drucker, Dr. Lyons urged audiences to create the future by using their powerful imagination to break critical mental barriers limiting business and life. The rapid adoption of new technologies and the building of relationships with forward-thinking partners can catapult businesses to success if leaders have a plan, stick to the plan and work the plan. Dr. Lyons single most important message for life, he said was to use the 5 D's - Dream, dare, desire, decide and dedicate yourself to any project and success will come!