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Antibiotic-free – Take the stress out of antibiotic-free feeding

The fear of loss in animal performance and profitability can make farmers and integrators apprehensive to reduce antibiotic growth promotors (AGPs) in animal diets. However, a better understanding of nutritional stressors and appropriate biosecurity measures can provide reassurance, that life and profitability will go on with antibiotic-free feeding.

In the US many farmers use antibiotics to treat, prevent, and control animal diseases and increase the productivity of animals and operations. However, there is concern that routine antibiotic use in livestock will contribute to antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, with repercussions for human and animal health. Given these concerns, pressure to limit antibiotic uses for purposes other than disease treatment is mounting. Maintaining a profitable future is looking promising with sound management and new alternatives to AGPs.

Scary news
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that antibiotic resistance is responsible for more than 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths each year in the United States (CDC 2013).

Earlier this year, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, for the first time. According to a top US public health official this could be the end of the road for antibiotics. Another report mentions that the “new superbug” MCR—a gene, carried by gut bacteria, that confers resistance to the absolutely last resort antibiotic Colistin—has been in the United States for at least a year.

Relationship between use and resistance
In their 2015 report «The state of the world’s antibiotics» the US Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy states that the greater the volume of antibiotics used, the greater the chances that antibiotic-resistant populations of bacteria will prevail and that antibiotic resistance is a direct result of antibiotic use.

Two trends are threatening to increase global antibiotic consumption and therefore the risk for antibiotic resistance: First, rising incomes are increasing access to antibiotics, which is increasing the use in the human population. Second, the increased demand for animal protein and resulting intensification of food animal production is leading to greater use of antibiotics in agriculture. In the United States an estimated 80 percent of all antibiotics consumed are used in food animals (U. S. FDA 2010).

Changing consumer demands in the US
Consumer awareness of antibiotic use in livestock production has increased. One indication of the growing demand for products raised with limited antibiotic use is a Consumer Reports 2012 survey of 1,000 U.S. residents finding that 86 percent of consumers would like the ability to buy meat raised without antibiotics at their local supermarket. This survey found that over 60 percent would be willing to pay an additional $0.05 per pound for meat raised without antibiotics, and 37 percent were willing to pay an additional dollar per pound.

Major retailers and restaurant chains such as McDonalds, Subway, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Applegate, Whole Foods and Costco have picked up on this and are taking a proactive stance to eliminate the use of antibiotics over a given time frame. For instance, Chic-fil-A, the largest U.S. chicken chain by domestic sales volume, has committed to serve only 100 percent antibiotic-free chicken by 2019. The company announced that as of March 2015, it had already converted 20 percent of its chicken supply.

In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued final guidance on voluntarily phasing out the use of medically important antibiotics (those important for therapeutic use in humans) for livestock production purposes.

How to stay profitable

For farming operations, the biggest fear of reducing the use of antibiotic growth promotors in feed or stop their preventive use entirely is that it will reduce economic returns from animal production. However, there is research showing that antibiotics used for production purposes generally have limited effects on the productivity of raising livestock at the farm level and the effect has been decreasing significantly over time (Table 1).

Latest research in Belgium and the Netherlands has shown that reducing the use of antibiotics in animal feed, does not endanger the economic situation of pig farms when biosafety measures and vaccinations are applied. On the contrary, in finishing pigs it can lead to €2.67 more profit per head.

In this research, there was an active emphasis on improving biosecurity status, the vaccination scheme and farm management. On average, the farms received advice for a timeframe of roughly 8 months. While there was a reduction of use in antibiotics by 52% from farrow to slaughter, there was a significant increase in biosecurity. At the same time there was higher daily growth (+7.7 g/d) and a reduced mortality during finishing (-0.6%).

Table1_Anco

Success will depend on operations
In practice, the effects of eliminating antibiotic growth promotors from animal feed are likely to vary considerably and will depend on current practices and external conditions (Laxminarayan et al. 2015). Operations with better sanitation, less crowding, and more modern production practices are likely to be affected less than older operations that have not updated their facilities and practices. In Sweden, the ban on growth promoters had a greater effect on producers with lower hygiene standards (Wierup 2001).

Keeping up with the top players
Major meat producers such as Smithfield foods, Seaboard foods, Tyson and Perdue, Pilgrim’s Pride, Foster Farms have already taken steps to reduce the use of antibiotics in their operations and/or even to introduce antibiotic-free production lines. Perdue announced in July 2015 that more than half of their birds are produced antibiotic-free.

A global feed survey carried out by WATT revealed that 58 percent of respondents consider the elimination of antibiotic growth promotors in feed as a critical obstacle to overcome in 2016 and 65 percent of the participants in the survey report that their company is actively testing or using alternatives to AGPs.
The above trends are clearly following consumer pressure and/or government regulation mentioned earlier.

Ready, steady, agile – new alternatives to go antibiotic-free

Agility is the capacity to anticipate change, respond, adapt quickly and thrive in a changing environment. The key question is whether the natural ability of animals to adapt to nutritional challenges and other stressors can be deliberately accelerated and optimized to benefit animal performance and the agility of animal production systems.

Research in genetic selection shows that improving the ability of animals to cope with stressors is a better way of improving performance than selecting only for increased growth potential. Genetic selection is certainly going to play an important role for advancement in this capability of the animal. However, nutritional strategies supporting the speed and efficacy with which the animal adapts to stressors will bring a more immediate competitive advantage in animal production.

A new approach to nutrition is to support the agility of the gut, i.e. its ability to adapt to nutritional stress factors efficiently. The agile gut is quicker to respond to prevent negative stress reactions, such as oxidative stress, loss in appetite, increased gut permeability and inflammation, which can cause waste of metabolic energy and increased risk of disease.

Agile nutritional concepts are designed to empower animals to adapt to a variety of nutritional stress factors, for more robust and energy-efficient animals. They rely on bioactive substances mainly derived from plants, known to prevent some of the negative stress reactions seen at the cellular level and offer a safe alternative to AGPs.

Mayor eficiencia en el rendimiento de los cerdos con agilidad intestinal

La aplicación de agilidad a la nutrición de los cerdos es un enfoque totalmente nuevo para una mayor rentabilidad en la producción animal competitive

Por Gwendolyn Jones
Traducción: Viviana Schroeder R

Los requerimientos nutricionales de cerdos con genotipo moderno están bien investigados. Sin embargo, muchos cerdos no alcanzan su potencial de rendimiento, a pesar de las dietas cuidadosamente formuladas. Esto puede ser debido a factores de gestión y / o medioambientales. Pero también hay factores nutricionales sobre los que tenemos menos control. Pueden dar lugar a toda una serie de reacciones de estrés en el animal y a eficacia subóptima en el rendimiento del cerdo. El hecho es que el cerdo estará sometido a factores estresantes durante toda su vida productiva.

grafik_stoppschild_spanisch
Existe evidencia científica que sugiere que para la selección genética, mejorar la capacidad de los cerdos para hacer frente a los factores de estrés puede ser una mejor manera de mejorar el rendimiento de los cerdos que seleccionar sólo para un mayor potencial de crecimiento. Por lo tanto, el aumento de la capacidad del cerdo para adaptarse a los factores de estrés de manera más adecuada mediante la nutrición también ofrece una alternativa a la mejora de rendimiento de los animales. Lo más importante es que la capacidad del animal para hacer frente a los estresores también tendrá un impacto en el retorno de la inversión (ROI, por sus siglas en inglés) de la formulación de dietas y la rentabilidad del productor.

Ataque los estresores nutricionales
Tradicionalmente, los aditivos se han desarrollado para atacar posibles factores de estrés directamente en el tracto digestivo del animal. Por ejemplo, las enzimas degradan componentes no digeribles específicos como fitato y polisacáridos no amiláceos (NSP, por sus siglas en inglés) en el cerdo para liberar nutrientes atrapados y también reducir los posibles efectos secundarios negativos de estos componentes. ¿Qué pasa con componentes menos digeribles presentes en las dietas que no son blanco específico de las enzimas para alimentación animal?

Antibióticos promotores del crecimiento se han usado por su efecto anti-bacteriano contra ciertas bacterias patógenas. Sin embargo, en muchos países los antibióticos ya han sido prohibidos para uso rutinario en la alimentación animal. Más países están haciendo lo mismo, y hay una mayor necesidad de alternativas eficaces. El ágil intestino le ayuda al animal a adaptarse a los factores de estrés de manera más eficiente y a ser más robusto en vista de los desafíos dietéticos y los estresores.
Adsorbentes de micotoxinas y desactivadores de micotoxinas se están aplicando a las dietas para contrarrestar los efectos nocivos de las micotoxinas en el animal. Sin embargo, es bien sabido que la adsorción no es una estrategia eficaz para todas las micotoxinas. La biotransformación de micotoxinas en metabolitos no tóxicos solamente se dirigirá a ciertos tipos de micotoxinas y es poco probable que sea completa en el tracto digestivo del animal.

Adaptarse a los factores de estrés nutricional
La pregunta es, ¿Qué hace el animal con los factores estresantes que quedan al margen de las soluciones de alimentación altamente específicos mencionados anteriormente? El cerdo tiene que ser más ágil. Como se mencionó con antelación, se pueden lograr mayores resultados en el rendimiento de los cerdos mediante la mejora de la habilidad del cerdo para hacer frente a los estresores. Eso significa que el cerdo tiene que ser capaz de adaptarse más rápido y más adecuadamente a cambios en la dieta y a los factores de estrés para un rendimiento eficiente. La selección genética va a jugar un papel importante para avanzar en esta capacidad del cerdo. Las estrategias nutricionales que apoyan la velocidad y la eficacia con la que el cerdo se adapta a los estresores traerá una ventaja competitiva más inmediata en la producción porcina.

La agilidad en el negocio
Cuando la medida del rendimiento es la rentabilidad, unas pocas empresas grandes en todas las industrias superan constantemente a sus iguales durante períodos prolongados, e incluso mantienen esa ventaja encarando cambios empresariales significativos en sus entornos competitivos. El único factor que tienen en común es la agilidad – se adaptan con éxito. La agilidad es una capacidad que permite a una organización para responder de manera oportuna, eficaz y sostenible cuando las circunstancias cambiantes así lo requieran. Las investigaciones realizadas en el Instituto de Tecnología de Massachusetts sugieren que las empresas ágiles generan 30 por ciento más ganancias que las empresas no ágiles. Otro estudio identificó una mayor eficiencia como un beneficio significativo de una mayor agilidad de la organización.

Agilidad intestinal en los cerdos
La aplicación del concepto de agilidad en el cerdo puede ayudar a desarrollar aún más la eficiencia en la producción porcina. El intestino y el sistema inmunológico son particularmente sensibles a los factores de estrés, de ahí que el énfasis está en el intestino cuando se habla de mejorar la respuesta adaptativa del animal. La agilidad intestinal es un nuevo término acuñado para describir la capacidad del cerdo para adaptarse a los estresores nutricional con una respuesta más eficiente energéticamente y más rápido de lo normal.

Lo que funciona
A medida que las plantas evolucionaron desarrollaron muy sofisticados mecanismos de adaptación a los factores estresantes y las amenazas potenciales para mejorar la supervivencia. Contienen una multitud de sustancias bioactivas, con una variedad de propiedades, tales como anti-oxidantes, anti-inflamatorias, anti-microbianas, anti-virales y aromáticas. La combinación de las muchas sustancias hace que las plantas sean polivalentes ante diferentes factores de estrés. Por tanto, es lógico pensar en la aplicación de extractos de plantas con las estrategias nutricionales desarrolladas para capacitar a los cerdos para adaptarse a los factores de estrés. Las sustancias derivadas de las plantas ya han demostrado ser muy eficaz en la naturaleza, ayudando a las plantas a ser más ágiles para hacer frente a los estresores y amenazas a la supervivencia. Sin embargo, la velocidad de la agilidad intestinal, con el apoyo de sustancias bioactivas en la alimentación, dependerá de encontrar la combinación óptima adecuada para el cerdo y sus desafíos.

Conclusiones
La combinación de estrategias nutricionales con parámetros de selección genética de interés para mejorar la agilidad del tracto gastrointestinal del cerdo podría contribuir a la producción de carne más segura y más rentable en vista de la creciente presión de los consumidores para las dietas libres de antibióticos.

Read ANCO´s first publication in WATT Pig International, May/June 2016

Agile concepts are known to drive the speed of growth and competitive advantage in the modern business world. The application of agility to animal nutrition is an entirely new approach for more profitability in competitive animal production.

Gut agility is a new term coined to describe the animal’s ability to adapt to nutritional stressors in a faster and more energy-efficient response than it normally would.

Gwendolyn Jones writes about applying agile concepts in pig nutrition in the following article, published by WATT Pig International May/June issue and WATT Feed Management May/June

http://www.feedmanagement-digital.com/#&pageSet=0

Higher efficiency in pig performance with gut agility

ANCO launches a new nutritional concept dedicated to competitive animal production globally

Anco Animal Nutrition Competence GmbH, goes global with ANCO® FIT to support gut agility. In the face of increasing consumer pressure for antibiotic-free animal diets, supporting gut agility by nutritional means contributes to more robust animals as well as safer and more profitable meat production

Andreas Kern, Executive Director of ANCO commented: “We look forward to make a contribution to what matters most to feed manufacturers and producers to remain profitable in the production of safe feed and food.” Andreas founded ANCO in November 2015, after 30 years with Biomin, acting as their CEO globally for the past 5 years.

Applying agile concepts can help to further develop efficiency in animal production. Gut agility is a new approach in animal nutrition and describes the animal’s ability to adapt to nutritional stressors in a faster and more energy-efficient response than it normally would. It is also a cost-effective solution to empower animals to cope with mycotoxins in feed more adequately.

ANCO Animal Nutrition Competence GmbH (www.anco.net) is a feed additive company based in Austria. ANCO aims to design cost-effective feed solutions for swine, poultry and ruminants to live up to their performance potential efficiently. The company maintains its focus and what matters most to the customer and what works best for animals to support competitive animal production.