Description/achievement of initiative
A critical issue of worldwide concern is antibiotic resistance creating threats to global health, food security, and development and Carbon gas is predicted to produce global warming and droughts. This project combats the need for non-therapeutic antibiotics in livestock production while maintaining growth, reducing resources and reducing carbon emissions of ruminant livestock. In order to achieve global food security and improve quality/functionality under changing global climate, the goals in this 4-year project target the education of livestock management, an R&D project on better ruminant nutrition and trials documenting the reduction in carbon emissions through better nutrition.
This project will be broken down into several phases: Phase 1 – Begin the education process. ProAgni has developed content on antibiotic resistance and the responsible use of antibiotics in animal production. They will present approximately six presentations at industry and academic events within the next 12 months. The education process will continue throughout the project with the overall aim of 15 events over 5 years. Phase 2 - Improve Ruminant Livestock Digestion to reduce Carbon Emissions, reduce by developing an additional nutritional supplement. ProAgni is in the process of developing a new nutritional supplement that is focused on significantly reducing induction times in intensive feeding systems using shelf stable probiotics. This will improve and support ruminant nutrition creating better overall nutrition absorption for ruminant species. After development is completed, the product will be trialled and tested on ruminant and non-ruminant livestock. Phase 3 – Test the methane produced by cattle on the current grain diet to create a baseline. Test cattle on antibiotic free ration and measure differences in emissions. After completion on new nutritional supplement, another round of testing will commence documenting improvements in methane levels produced. Phase 4 - Trial – Run and ongoing test at a farm/feedlot site to determine the amount of antibiotics in the soil and water supply prior to switching to feed containing no antibiotics. Measure through 5 generations of cattle and track changes in antibiotic levels in soil and water in the surrounding area.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
Provide useful data and evidence to support the removal of antibiotics from livestock production and the following SDGs [Goal 2] By promoting agriculture and agricultural technology that reduces the resources needed for ruminant livestock, removes the need for non-therapeutic antibiotics and reduces carbon emissions produced, this project helps create sustainable, resilient agriculture, producing more food and supporting family farmers. [Goal 3] Systemic antibiotic use is contributing to antimicrobial resistance. A large portion of antibiotics fed to animals are used to promote growth or to control acidosis. Reducing the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics, this project supports better health world-wide by helping to ensure antibiotics still work and are not excreted into the soil and water supplies. [Goal 5] We support family owned farms, many of which are female run.[Goal 6] By reducing the production time of ruminant livestock, we reduce the amount of water needed to raise livestock. By removing antibiotics from the food chain, the risk of contaminants flowing into wetlands and rivers is reduced or removed.[Goal 8] Per the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock LAMP Responsible use of antibiotics promotes economic growth by supporting healthy and productive animals.[Goal 12] This project promotes sustainable use of resources by decreasing the amount of water needed to produce ruminant livestock and reducing losses in production by supporting livestock through the dramatic changes to nutritional demands that occur directly prior to the birthing process. Preparation for these changes is critical for offspring survival, immunity and vigour. By increasing immunity in offspring through better colostrum volumes and quality, we decrease nutritional stress, increase survivability of offspring.[Goal 13] Greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants are largely a by-product of inefficient feed conversion. Dietary manipulation is the most effective and convenient way to reduce methane emissions and increase nitrogen utilization efficiency. ProAgni reduces emissions by making feed conversion more efficient, and replacing empty calories, with nutrient dense supplementation. Measuring emissions per kilogram of meat produced, ProAgni are reducing emissions by nearly 50% when compared to cattle on other non-medicated feeds. [Goal 15] This project supports responsible use of resources, especially land and water by increasing feed efficiency, better utilisation of resources and removal of potential harmful additives from livestock excretions. With better feed efficiency, less land is required, current land can be better utilized, and antibiotics are removed from the feed decreasing potential contaminants in the soil, water and potential degradation of land.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
The initiative will be implemented using a project management approach. The high level of management will be a project management team with leadership of a project manager from ProAgni Pty Ltd. The project will form appropriate committees to manage its activities as a means for internal controls. The initiative will use a matrix approach and a bottom up approach with regards to monitoring and reporting.
ProAgni Pty Ltd., AMBOS, CSIRO, University of New South Wales