As from last year, the most innovative of the international agribusiness meet at the Animal AgTech Summit. Last year held in San Francisco and this September in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Here are 5 initiatives from the poultry industry that you will be hearing more about.
Some of the larger animal nutrition and health companies, like Trouw Nutrition, Cargill, Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck/MSD, sent representatives to talk and discuss with one another the challenges of the modern era. Each in their own way, these companies have embarked on finding innovative ways to embrace new technological solutions. MSD, for instance, earlier this year completed its acquisition of the animal identification company Antelliq/Allflex. Late last year Zoetis introduced its herd monitoring software Smartbow, while in 2018 Boehringer Ingelheim did the same with its biosecurity tool Combat.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are also many smaller companies whose initiatives have just seen the light of day, whose technologies may still require more investment before they can become profitable, or whose concepts are seeing a breakthrough right now.
Traditionally, viruses can be prevented with vaccines – but there are also other ways to deal with viruses. Anti-virals are known in human medicine; these are elements which prevent the virus from replicating. An approach like this can be used with any virus – but regulatory matters and food safety concerns make it a lengthy process before they can hit the market. “An antiviral against ASF, if permitted or required by emergency legislation could have been ready for use late last year,” said CEO, Erwin Blomsma.
The company Unibio, headquartered in London, UK but with a strong base in Denmark, uses waste to create something new. Using a U-Loop Fermentor it converts methane into protein that can be used for animal nutrition. Aquaculture has been the main focus of attention so far but the company also presented figures from a small-size trial in post-weaning piglets. The material presented showed that the animals did not experience any increase in diarrhoea compared with using zinc oxide in the feed.
The animal health company Proteon, based in Lodz, Poland, focuses on the use of phages – or viruses – that attack specific types of bacteria. This approach could offer a promising alternative to antibiotics. COO Matthew Tebeau explained that the company already has a phage product ready for tackling salmonella in poultry. He noted that it is currently awaiting EU regulatory approval for the marketing of this type of animal health strategy to begin. The company is working on more products for pigs, aqua, dairy and poultry in the meantime.
German company Seleggt, founded in March 2017, aims to further the research on endocriniological gender identification in hatching eggs. As managing director Martijn Haarman explained, the company’s goal is to create practice-ready solutions that can rapidly analyse a large number of hatching eggs which will mean that male chicks will soon no longer have to be killed. Retailers are already selling the first eggs with the added value (and label) of “No Chick Culling” throughout Berlin, in Germany.
Ÿnsect was one of the major sponsors of the event. The company promotes the use of ŸnMeal, for example, a defatted free flowing protein that comes from insects. At Animal AgTech the company’s CCO, Benjamin Armenjon, shared the results of trials conducted in Thailand, where it was tried and tested in shrimp. The use of this type of protein was observed to have an effect on growth and immune status. Some trials in poultry were also shared. The company further markets the product ŸnOil.