Report Synopsis

Feeding for Health – Combating Antimicrobial Resistance

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria are no longer susceptible to an antibiotic that would normally have an activity against them and is a significant health concern for humans and animals. As healthy animals do not need antibiotic treatment, keeping them healthy is an important strategy to prevent the development of antibiotic resistance. The aim of this work was to define the practical role of nutritional management and products on farm and document those which have a health benefit. Visits were made to farms, companies and universities in the USA, The Netherlands, Norway, England, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain, examining practical nutritional practices to support cattle health and decrease the use of antibiotics, and experience how farmers have developed their farm business using these solutions. Bacteriophages and some essential oils have an antibacterial activity, but have limitations compared to antibiotics. Probiotics, prebiotics, essential oils, plant extracts, plant fibres, and quorum sensing increase cattle immunity and health, thereby helping cattle resist a bacterial challenge that would normally cause disease. However, many of the nutritional products are not as effective as antibiotics, while being more expensive and needing further investment to improve their activity. When placing these products on farm, it is important to consider genetics, farm management, vaccination, and nutrition to pick the best solution to make the largest difference. There is a growing consumer interest in the health and welfare of food producing animals and these products may be in increasing demand in the future.

Similar Reports

  • 2019

    Animal Welfare Bridging the gap from producer to consumer

    Thomas Green
  • 2019

    Assess The Role Of Milk Screening For Disease Within The Development Of An Effective Herd Health System

    Ailish Moriarty
  • 2018

    Farmer Led Animal Welfare; An Opportunity for the Irish Livestock Industry

    Colm O'Leary