In an effort to address the growing public health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is seeking data and information on alternative and advanced feed practices in animal agriculture to promote the responsible use of antimicrobials.

Those submitting data and relevant information can do so by emailing no later than June 10, 2023. The full call for data, including specifics of the scope and contact information, can be viewed here.

Antibiotics have been used in animal feed for approximately 70 years, not only to treat diseases, but also to enhance productivity. However, many such substances used in agriculture are classified as medically important antimicrobials for human health by the World Health Organization (WHO), and as a result, concerns have been raised about the risk of developing AMR to crucial drugs and the transfer of resistant bacteria between animals and humans through the food chain.

 An overall reduction in the use of antimicrobials in animal production, especially limiting those used for nontherapeutic purposes such as antimicrobial growth promoters (AGPs), is desired to mitigate AMR. Current literature supports that good husbandry and advanced feeding practices may replace AGP use in livestock production without extensive economic loss.

Therefore, the FAO Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Livestock has requested that FAO collect scientific evidence on alternative feeding practices to replace the use of medically important AGPs and the effectiveness and safety of such practices, and to conduct an inventory of such alternative feeding practices. The subcommittee has also requested that FAO share successful experiences and good practices, including traditional knowledge (e.g., the use of traditional remedies such as plant-based growth promoters), to support member countries in reducing the need for antibiotics. The subcommittee also requested the collection of data on the impact of measures to phase out or ban the use of medically important AGPs on livestock production, health, and welfare.

After collecting relevant data and information, FAO will organize an expert meeting that will take place at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, in July 2023.