animal welfare to promote the reduction of antibiotic promoters

Every year 700,000 people die because of it antimicrobial resistance (RAM). The scientific community estimates that 10 million people will die between now and 2050 for this reason.

This global public health issue has become so critical that The WHO developed a global action plan in 2016 to combat AMR.

The fourth strategic objective is optimizing the use of antimicrobial drugs in human and animal health.

In the last 10 years, the use of antibiotics in human medicine has exploded by 40%. It is no exception in veterinary medicine, as 80% of antibiotics sold in Europe in 2015 were intended for animal production.

Since the 1950s, the use of growth-promoting antibiotics (PCAs) in animal feed has improved health conditions, growth rates, and feed efficiency for intensive animal farms.

The appearance of AMR in humans was first observed in Europe in 1972, so the use of tetracycline, penicillin and streptomycin was banned in animal production.

Sweden was the first country to ban all PCAs in 1986 and in 2006 the European Union announced its total ban.

As a result, such alternatives have been developed and introduced enzymes, acids, prebiotics and probiotics, and even essential oils, to maintain zootechnical performance.

However, to be acceptable, Any alternative chosen must meet two conditions of effectiveness:

  • Send a clear, consistent mode of action, and
  • consistent results.


essential oils are mainly used for bacteriostatic properties.

  • They damage the cell membrane or cytoplasmic membrane, causing the contents of the cell to leak.

  • They can also coagulate cytoplasmic proteins and even block the energy metabolism of the cell.

However, its minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) is still very high, which prevents its use in balanced foods in sufficient concentrations to obtain benefits similar to antibiotics in therapeutic doses.

Therefore, the mode of action of essential oils in animal feed is not fundamentally based on these bacteriostatic properties.

If we take a closer look at this question, the same is true for antibiotics used in small doses as growth promoters.

The doses used are too small to produce a simple bactericidal effect. However, this mode of action is still insufficient in both cases.

The literature on essential oils shows somewhat variable results in terms of animal performance. Some authors observe similar or even better effects than those obtained with CPAs, while others observe little or no effect.

Consequently, Manufacturers of essential oil solutions must apply standardization strategies to their products and provide evidence with consistent results to meet animal welfare.


Because there is no single method to demonstrate the effectiveness of a product, it is necessary gather evidence from various sources, as follows:

  • Tests performed in experimental stations that allow models and standardizes answers, although they are not very representative of the complex realities of the terrain.

  • Multiple tests in different market conditions which are representative of the different challenges facing animals, but there are still problems of statistical inference.

  • A meta-analysis that provides a robust statistical analysis and is representative of the various challenges that exist on the ground.


Phod developed the product Birds Oleobiotec, sensory solution, mixture of essential oils with a wide spectrum of action, strengthened by a combination of spice extracts.

This complex mixture restores the balance of the microbiota, which sends positive signals along the microbiota-brain axis. Which helps the animals to feel better and produce better results.


The effectiveness of this mixture has been demonstrated in 25 studies in Europe, Canada, the United States, Latin America and Asia, including 11 commercial farms and 14 experimental stations.

In the meta-analysis of these studies weight gain and feed conversion are compared to chickens subjected to different conditions, with and without APC.

Led by Laval University in Canada, this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Poultry Science Association in Montreal last year (Figures 1, 2 and 3).

This meta-analysis provides a unique focus on a key factor in the response of essential oil products, the level of health challenge experienced animal.

So, the study proposes a challenge of the AL acuity index (HELL). This indicator shows that the effects Birds Oleobiotec are even more significant, with a high level of health challenge at the beginning of the work (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Negative correlation of feed conversion index (CA) and challenge acuity index (DAI)

Figure 2: APC and Oleobiotec treatments for poultry have a similar effect on feed conversion index (ICA)

Figure 3: APC and Oleobiotec Poultry treatments have a similar effect on daily weight gain (%)

Meta-analysis also helps determines the average effects of the product on indicators such as:

  • Daily weight gain (GDP), which increases on average 2.8 + 0.70% (P <0.001; R 2 = 65%), o

  • he Food conversion index (CA), which decreases by 3.6 ± 1.2% (P = 0.006; R2 = 56%).

The meta-analysis reveals absolutely no significant difference in efficacy between the product tested and a PCA.


To help animals respond more consistently to plant extracts, the products to be used must have a complex wording, given the diverse and complex challenges facing the animals.

There would be a solution strengthens mixtures of essential oils by adding spices that clearly increase this complexity and, in particular, strengthens the animal’s digestive capacity;.

Thanks to these solutions, the animal is once again the focus of production, and poultry farms are able to introduce this change to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal feed, already adopted by so many countries.

The future of PCAs is increasingly uncertain and it is very likely that more and more molecules will be banned internationally. So do I.Active ingredients of plant origin are increasingly essential when it comes to maintaining the efficiency of animal farms, as long as these active ingredients constantly improve animal welfare and performance.