From chickens to pigs, antibiotics have played a key role in keeping our favourite meats free from disease.
Not only are antibiotics used to treat unwell monogastric animals, but they are also used as a preventative measure to tackle persistent disease problems in the meat industry. However, the overuse of antibiotics in livestock has led to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can pose a significant threat to human health.
“Monogastric” means “single stomach”.
Monogastric animals are animals that have a single-chambered stomach, which is not divided into compartments. Examples include: chickens, pigs, humans.
The dark side of antibiotics: Too much of a good thing
As a result, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a major concern for public health organisations like the World Health Organization (WHO), as it can make infections increasingly difficult or impossible to treat. Every day, nearly 3,500 people die from AMR. And if left unchecked, this figure is predicted to skyrocket to 10 million by 2050.
To combat AMR, the European Union (EU) took a bold step in 2022 and passed legislation that bans the use of certain antibiotics in farming. This law also forbids their use as a preventative measure and as a way to make up for poor farming practices.
Overcoming resistance: The uphill battle to implement the EU’s farm antibiotic ban
This legislation is a major stride towards curbing AMR and safeguarding both human and animal health. But while it promises a positive impact, its implementation can be a challenge for countries with large producers of affordable meat.
On one hand, farmers in Iceland, Norway, and Sweden are better positioned to implement the law as they are the lowest users of farm antibiotics. There, 90 percent of antibiotics are given as treatments to unwell animals.
On the other hand, farmers in France and Germany, who use up to 10 times more antibiotics per livestock unit than the lowest users, and farmers in Poland, Italy and Spain, who use up to 20 times more, will face challenges in meeting the new regulations.
The overuse of antibiotics in such countries is often aimed at controlling persistent disease problems, highlighting the need for alternative solutions to prevent such issues without relying on antibiotics.
Revolutionising livestock health: Sustainable feed solutions
For farmers in the EU, this ban poses a challenge: how can they keep their animals healthy without relying on antibiotics? This is where nutrition comes in. By giving animals high-quality feed that contains key nutrients and beneficial additives, farmers can help boost their immune systems and prevent disease outbreaks.
GoNutri, a livestock feed supplement, is an example of such a solution. GoNutri Protect and GoNutri Protect Xtra are specifically designed to improve animal health and reduce the need for antibiotics. These products contain high-quality fats that have several benefits for the monogastric: they modulate the action of the microbiota and the immunity system, and they also have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help improve gut health and control infectious diseases.
GoNutri contains medium-chain free fatty acids and monoglycerides which can improve gut health and mitigate pathogens.
Farmers who have used GoNutri Protect have seen:
1. A drop in the number of days of antibiotic use
2. A better feed conversion rate
3. Reduced risk of infection on their farms
4. Lower rates of animal deaths
Benefits aside, the best thing about GoNutri is that it is not only effective but also sustainable. GoNutri is part of our integrated supply chain, which adheres to global traceability and sustainability standards. It is also GMP+ certified, meaning it meets the highest industry standards for managing feed safety risks.
The future of sustainable animal agriculture depends on group effort between farmers, scientists and industry leaders to find new ways to support animal health. By investing in solutions like GoNutri and supporting innovative research, we can build a more sustainable and resilient food system for generations to come.
GoNutri is currently available in Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy, Portugal, France and Mexico. If you are interested in using GoNutri for your livestock feed, reach out to our feed expert.