June 13, 2019
ForFarmers shortlisted for 2019 International Antibiotic Guardian awards
ForFarmers has been shortlisted for this year's Antibiotic Guardian awards in recognition of their continued commitment in the role nutrition can play in tackling the global challenge of anti-microbial resistance (AMR).
ForFarmers has continued to proactively work to reduce antibiotic use in swine production by working directly with farmers, veterinarians, abattoirs and retailers. Starting in 2015, the company has changed the nutritional composition of their diets for all life stages to enhance gut health and integrity to support improved animal health and welfare.
Commercial director Chris Jenkins says, "We are delighted to be shortlisted for these awards; it reassures us of the importance of our focus in this area. Finding solutions to AMR won't come from a single entity, but through collaboration across different sectors and professions with a common goal. It's great to have the role of nutrition recognised as part of this."
Last year, ForFarmers partnered with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, to deliver a series of producer workshops designed to directly support the ambitions of the Pig Industry Antibiotic Stewardship Programme to reduce the UK AM medication from a baseline of 263.5mg/PCU in 2015 to 99mg/PCU in 2020.
The workshops provided practical advice to farmers on strategies to improve health thereby reducing the use of AM medication including management advice, nutritional strategies, the use of organic acid complexes and improving water quality. By the end of 2018, ForFarmers had reduced in-feed medication in across their swine diets by a further 27%, following on from the initial reduction achieved in 2016 of 36%.
Furthermore, ForFarmers has given specific focus to the nutrition and management of piglets at the time of weaning. A number of factors contribute to the disturbance of gut microbiota, often resulting in post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD) and subsequent high use of medication. With nutritional innovations and the use of organic acids, ForFarmers has pioneered approaches to support improvements in gut health reducing the use of AM medication during this phase whilst reducing reliance on zinc and high dietary copper levels.
Trials demonstrated that the same performance could be achieved when applying the approach in the absence of ZnO without any adverse incidence of PWD. The concept will be further developed and implemented in 2019 as part of a health concept in partnership with veterinarians and swine farmers.