September 19, 2003



E.U. Antibiotic-Free Feeds For Pigs


The European Union may ban the use of antibiotics in animal feeds as concerns about bacterial risks mount. This includes the risk of cross-resistance, with bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics used in human medicine. This despite positive effects on pig health and growth.


In response, Eureka project Antibiotics in Feed has developed safe antibiotic-free piglet feeds, which can be easily introduced into today's feed manufacturing practice. Without the use of antibiotics, health risks to pigs, such as diarrhoea may develop.


Researchers at the Dutch-based Institute of Animal Nutrition have partnered the project, working in tandem to test a range of products and evaluating additives to learn more about digestive systems in piglets. The main problems, however, lie in consistency of testing and other factors.


Nevertheless, safe piglet feed without antibiotics can be created using these methods of finding alternative additives. They have also been adopted by farmers.