Humans and animals depend on antibiotics to fight microbial infections. It is essential to maintain their efficacy so that future generations can lead healthy lives. Antibiotic efficacy is under threat from the development of antimicrobial resistance, which emerges from overuse and misuse in both human and veterinary medicine. Across the globe, broilers are still raised with the assistance of antibiotics. Either for disease therapy, to prevent disease occurrence, and still, in some parts of the world, to enhance performance. Driven by regulatory and consumer demands, broiler production with minimal or no use of antibiotics is rapidly gaining importance.
The main sustainability challenge for broiler production lies in securing enough high-quality, nutritious, safe, and readily available food at a reasonable cost.
At times, feed ingredients have to be included that are not nutritionally ideal and might compromise one’s broilers’ health and wellbeing. However, counteracting this threat with prophylactic antibiotics is not acceptable:
We must minimize the use of antibiotics to mitigate antimicrobial resistance.
The way forward is to go beyond static and linear nutritional value-to-price thinking. A dynamic nutritional strategy focusing on the interdependencies between ingredients, gut, microbiome, and digestion, enables sustainable broiler production.
Presented by Romano Pisciotti