New farming model required to reduce antibiotics in food production!

2 February 2017


“An integrated approach can help us to reduce the amount of antibiotics in animal production”, said Prof. Leo den Hartog, Director of R&D, in a recent lecture for Trouw Nutrition Selko.

Prof. Hartog, respected researcher and lecturer of Animal Nutrition and part-time professor at Wageningen University said, "In nearly all countries around the world, antimicrobial resistance is one of the top priorities of issues to solve and a drastic reduction of antibiotics in food production can be achieved if we move to a new farming model based on integrated and multi-stakeholder collaboration"

Three main steps to reduce antibiotics

During his lecture in the event organized by Trouw Nutrition Selko, Prof. den Hartog explained that the first step towards antibiotic reduction is to create awareness, because not everyone has knowledge of the global threats of antimicrobial resistance. However, we see that the discussion has been started. “In nearly all countries around the world, antimicrobial resistance is one of the top priorities of issues to solve” the Wageningen University professor said.

As a second step, the importance of showing alternatives was addressed. According to Den Hartog, the solution can be found in an integrated approach, by feed, farm and health management. The use of antibiotics can be reduced by optimizing farm management, enhancing animal health and providing good nutrition. Good nutrition, he explained, means starting from the beginning of the production cycle with good quality ingredients but also with natural feed additives. When developing the concept of the integrated approach it was especially stressed the fact that a change in mind-set is needed, meaning that collaboration with experts and education of producers are key.

Finally, the Dutch research director concluded that the last step is to implement the changes. It is important to show to animal producers that implementing this integrated approach delivers same or even better results. Conclusions from several field trials were presented to support these statements. In a room full of poultry and swine producers Prof den Hartog was asked to put himself in the shoes of a poultry producer. “If I was a poultry producer I would have a critical look at my diets and improve my farm management. I would stop immediately the use of antimicrobial growth promoters and only use antibiotics with therapeutic purposes, just when animals are really sick”.

About Selko

Selko is the feed additives brand of Trouw Nutrition, a Nutreco company. Selko’s portfolio consists of natural feed additive solutions that add value to integrators, feed mills and farmers. Focus areas are Salmonella control, feed safety, gut health in antibiotic-free production systems and trace mineral nutrition solutions.

Selko solutions are offered as a complete package consisting of products, know-how and services. The Selko brand encompasses blends of organic acids, organic minerals, betaine and mycotoxin binders. Trouw Nutrition’s global sales organisation commercialises the Selko feed additives brand.