Bayer Focuses on Innovations to Support Sustainable Beef
The beef production landscape is in transition. There is growing emphasis on sustainability and at the same time, producers are faced with various challenges that can negatively impact animal health and well-being. At the International Bayer Beef Symposium 2016, the company reinforced its commitment to meet the strong need for breakthrough products that contribute to cattle health and welfare – two important components of sustainability.
“Bayer as a Life Science company is well positioned to continue delivering innovations that support the beef industry’s efforts to enhance sustainability,” said Dr Almut Hoffmann, Head of Farm Animals Products at Bayer Animal Health. “The health of animals is important to us, and we aim to not just introduce new products, but also bring true innovation in animal health. We are excited to be able to offer game-changing innovations that put veterinarians and producers at the forefront of the fight against bovine respiratory disease (BRD) and ectoparasites, two of their top health concerns today.”
A novel approach to mitigating BRD
BRD remains the most devastating disease facing the beef industry, despite preventive measures and the availability of effective antibiotics and vaccines. Each year, BRD is estimated to cost the industry over US$1 billion in the United States alone. Adding to the challenge is the growing emphasis on the prudent use of antibiotics in livestock. Bayer’s research into alternatives to antibiotics for the mitigation of infectious diseases led to the development of a novel immunostimulant that effectively aids in the treatment of BRD due to Mannheimia haemolytica by jumpstarting cattle’s innate immune system, rapidly enhancing the animal’s own ability to respond quickly and effectively against BRD.
Developing new tools against Ectoparasites
Ectoparasites can significantly impact cattle health and well-being, transmit disease and adversely affect productivity. Amid environmental changes and the emergence of resistant strains, Bayer continues to deliver novel ectoparasite management solutions that help producers protect cattle against pests and the damage they can cause. Bayer’s recent innovation in this area is an ultra-low-volume deltamethrin insecticide spray that offers producers a quick, convenient and effective treatment against flies and mosquitos in and around livestock facilities.
Sustainability in beef production
Sustainability in agriculture is complex and multifaceted, encompassing dimensions ranging from resource use and emissions, to food waste and animal welfare. As the demand for sustainable beef grows, the industry is also working to continuously improve sustainability over time. With numerous inter-dependencies, sustainability has to be a multi-stakeholder effort.
“Conversations on sustainability should include environmental responsibility, economic opportunity and social diligence, while meeting the growing demand for beef,” said Dr Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, Executive Director of Global Sustainability at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United States. “Science and innovation are essential to sustainability. The goal is for continuous improvement, and over the last six years, various innovations have enabled the beef industry to improve environmental impact by 5% and social impact by 7%. Products and solutions that contribute to animal health and help improve efficiencies at the same time would help us along on our journey to produce beef more and more sustainably.”
“Producers face new challenges each day, including a growing consumer demand for improvement of animal welfare. For good animal welfare, which is an important element in sustainability, knowledge about cattle needs and behavior is essential,” said Professor Dr Mateus Paranhos da Costa, Faculty of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, Sao Paulo State University, Brazil. “Treating and handling cattle well, protecting their health, and giving them medication if they are ill, is the right thing to do. Healthy animals are naturally more productive, so what is good for the animals is good for the business.”
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