Dr. Mark Little, veterinary surgeon and Technical Manager for Trouw Nutrition Ireland, has been awarded a 2019 Nuffield Farming Scholarship, sponsored by the Thomas Henry Foundation, for the project ‘Feeding for health, combating antimicrobial resistance.’
The Nuffield Scholarship awards individuals with the opportunity to research topics of interest in either farming, food, horticulture or rural industries. Scholars are able to travel anywhere in the world for a period of no less than eight weeks to further their knowledge and understanding of their chosen study topic.
Mark’s project is ‘Feeding for health, combating antimicrobial resistance’: “Antimicrobial resistance is recognized as a major issue for human and veterinary health. There is concern that antimicrobial resistance in animals could potentially transfer to people. Therefore, there is a need to reduce the use of antimicrobials in food producing animals. Methods to achieve this are vaccinations, good management and good nutrition,” he explained.
“The phrase ‘good animal nutrition is key to animal health’ is frequently used, but possibly misunderstood. If the needs of an animal (energy, protein, vitamins and minerals) are met, the diet meets the term ‘good nutrition.’ Therefore, ‘feeding for health’ is a more appropriate phrase for my project.
“The aim of my study is to examine novel solutions to reduce the need to use antimicrobials in food producing animals, particularly cattle. Could new feed technologies and solutions that show promise in in-vitro lab work have practical applications to increase animal health? In addition, I would like to explore current solutions used by the feed industry to identify where these can be adopted by other species, for example, some of the products used in poultry and swine may have practical applications in ruminants.
“I would like to bring together the veterinary and nutrition industries to find solutions to antimicrobial resistance, as I believe there is not enough collaborative work at present. Working together will produce new thoughts and ideas that will make a difference for farmers and food producers. This will result in a reduction in usage of antibiotics, increased food animal welfare, safer high quality food and increased consumer confidence in UK animal products.”