It has been common practice for many decades for farmers of animals and livestock to add low levels of antibiotics to animal feed. These antibiotics work to ensure the health of the animals by preventing infectious bacterial and parasitic disease.
In recent years there has been growing concern over this common use of antibiotics. This concern is two fold; (a) that by using antibiotics so extensively it encourages the mutation of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria thus increasing the chances of incurable disease, and (b) that humans consuming meat from these animals will also consume and be affected by residual antibiotics.
This use of antibiotics with livestock and animals is of global concern and many companies, such as CSIRO and Alltech in Australia, have been committing resources to researching alternatives to this wide-spread non-specific use of antibiotics.
Farmers and producers of livestock and animals may find the Alternatives to Antibiotics (ATA) International Symposium of interest. The symposium, in association with The World organisation for Animal Health (OIE), is being held over four days, from 25th – 28th September 2012, in Paris.
The symposium features many highly regarded international speakers and will focus on the latest scientific breakthroughs and technologies that provide new options and alternative strategies for the prevention and treatment of animal diseases; specifically animal production, animal health, and food safety.
The main topics being covered at this symposium will be:
- alternatives to antibiotics: lessons from nature – discussing novel, drug free strategies to enhance innate immunity and defences
- altering innate defense mechanisms to enhance disease resistance
- the gut microbiome and immune development, health and diseases
- alternatives to antibiotics for use as growth promotants
- regulatory pathways to enable the licensure of alternatives to antibiotics