Antibiotic Reduction Programme

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when a microorganism becomes resistant to antibiotics. It is a rising problem for both humans and animals worldwide. If not tackled, it will be the number one global public health issue and could grow to 10 million human deaths in 2050.

Selko’s Antibiotic Reduction Programme aims to empower producers in safely and efficiently reducing the use of antibiotics. With a record of accomplishment spanning over 15 years our integrated feed-, farm- and health approach has helped producers to achieve at least equal, but in most cases improved productivity, while reducing antibiotic usage. Selko's antibiotic reduction programme safeguards animal health, animal welfare, and production profitability.

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How do we do it?

Synergistic combination feed additives, raw material quality, biosecurity, accurate medication, and vaccination programmes can all contribute to reducing the reliance of antibiotics. However, there is no silver bullet. The implementation and application of potent products should always be backed up by and in line with customer's situation and audits.

A customized & integrated approach

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Nutritional, feed formulation, and feed safety are all important to reduce the need for antibiotics

In feed management, many distinct aspects should be considered; nutritional, feed formulation and feed safety. Both in feed safety and nutritional quality we evaluate where it is most efficient to act, in the raw material or in the feed production or in both. 

The practice of providing specially designed feed formulations for young animals, containing high-quality raw materials and a tailored package of feed additives, is rapidly gaining in popu­larity. From the nutritional side, a solid matrix evaluation of the raw materials is needed, followed by balanced ration calculations. Within AR programmes, moulds and mycotoxins should be mitigated at the highest level, as they have an adverse effect on gut integrity and immunity, depending on the type of mycotoxin. 

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Reducing the reliance on antibiotics requires excellent farm management

The bigger the farms, the more biosecurity, both internal and external, become important. Through removing antibiotics from feed and water, previously hidden farm management risks come into view. The good news is that these can be identified and managed without antibiotics in most cases. Aided by the experience and technical knowledge of the Trouw Nutrition technical local and global teams, Selko's antibiotic reduction programme includes support with farm management procedures, protocols, and guidelines.


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Gut health as a pre-requisite for animal health and performance

Gut health is an enduring challenge for animal producers, accounting for up to 80% of antimicrobials used in animal production, given that vaccines can prevent most other health issues. Feed formulation and dietary strategies, which include the synergistic use of feed additives, can help to improve gastrointestinal development and digestion, the absorption of nutrients, and immunity.


Consistently deploying a five-step cycle which integrates feed, farm and health management, can take an antibiotic reduction programme from vision to achievement
Barbara Brutsaert, Sustainability Manager for Antibiotic Reduction

Selko Gut Health Scoring 

Selko’s gut scan measures gut health at a specific and provides a good indication of the severity and the location of issues in the intestine. The result of this gut health scan can be used to evaluate the effect of feed management changes. In addition to that, via the gut health scan, we can analyze which synergistic blends of feed additives can be applied to improve animal zootechnical performance while reducing the reliance on antibiotics.

Feed Additives  

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) recommends on diverse types of feed additives.  Via the water – our synergistic organic acid blend- supports digestion via its specific blend of organic acids. 

Our gut health additive containing patented slow-release C12, butyrate, and phenolic compound in the feed stabilizes the gut microbiota and improves the gut barrier integrity. 

Another FAO recommendation is the usage of copper and zinc. Selko’s hydroxy trace minerals copper and zinc source have a strong antimicrobial effect and improved immunity response. 

Supplementing feed with a synergistic combination of our gut health additive and hydroxy trace minerals (where it is allowed) is a proven and promising approach to an AGP-free production system. This combination focuses on two aspects of gut health: strengthening the gut barrier function and microbiota stabilization while improving gut digestion and immune modulation to achieve notable health and performance benefits. 


Did you know?

Phytogenics were introduced into animal nutrition decades ago to find alternatives for the use of antibiotics to support livestock performance. Some phytogenics may indeed have antimicrobial activity in vitro, but at the in-feed inclusion levels commonly used, most of them have little to no direct antimicrobial effect. However, by using phytotechnology to support the host’s own natural defense mechanisms and robust physiological funtions, phytogenic products can have a valuable contribution to optimal performance in antibiotic-free or -reduced production systems.


Article in Poultry World 2020