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Research to Replace Antibiotics in Livestock Feed

21 August 2012, at 7:48am

CANADA - A new investment from the Harper Government will support research into an innovative substitute for antibiotics in livestock feed. Member of Parliament Kelly Block (Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced an investment that will help Prairie Plant Systems Inc. deliver benefits to livestock producers and consumers.

"This is a good example of how government and industry can partner to harness research and help industry fill a need in the marketplace," said MP Block. "This is the kind of innovation that's keeping Canada's agricultural sector strong and sustainable."

This investment of more than $101,000 will help Prairie Plant Systems develop new technologies that have the potential to replace antibiotics in animal feed using health-boosting properties of plants like mustard seeds. The goal is to develop feed supplements that would stimulate an animal's own immune system to resist infection.

"This is the first step in finding alternatives to the use of antibiotics in animal feed," said Brent Zettl, CEO of Prairie Plant Systems. "The long-term goal of our research can have benefits for farmers and consumers alike."

Researchers have discovered that the use of antibiotics in feedstock is beneficial partly because of their anti-inflammatory properties and not just because of their anti-bacterial properties. The development of new feed supplements has the potential to improve herd health while reducing losses and costs. This can improve the bottom line of livestock and poultry producers and also open other opportunities for farmers to diversify their crops and capture new niche markets.