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For the Future of Farming
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01-06-2016

Nutrition has a key role to play in improving livestock health

The amount of medication used in livestock production systems should be as little as possible but as much as required to safeguard the health and wellbeing of animals.

This is the conclusion reached by ForFarmers in reaction to the current debate on anti-microbial resistance (AMR) in light of the recent publication of the O’Neill report, “Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally.”  The review proposes a concerted international approach to reducing unnecessary use of anti-microbials in both human and farm medicine.

“ForFarmers is already working hard with its direct customers in the UK and their supply chain partners to bring the experience from our other markets, most notably the Netherlands and research by ForFarmers Nutrition Innovation Centre (NIC) on husbandry and nutrition approaches which enhance gut health.  An example of this can be seen with the VIDA piglet feed concept launched across North West Europe which contains specific advances to enhance nutrient efficiency and reduce the impact of intestinal pathogens” said Nick Major, ForFarmers Corporate Affairs Director.  “In addition, ForFarmers is continuing to support a number of industry initiatives such as the eMB (electronic medicines book), the work being undertaken by the PHWC antimicrobials sub-group and the NPA Pig Industry Antibiotic Stewardship Programme as very positive and proactive steps in ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics”.

Animal health and welfare is one of three pillars in ForFarmers sustainability approach (the others being environment and people and society) which has recently been strengthened with the establishment of our Sustainability Advisory Board earlier this year.

ForFarmers continues, through its industry associations, to urge European regulators to take a practical and workable approach to the administration of medication via feed where it is proven to provide the most effective method of treatment of a group of animals affected by a common health challenge.