Design of natural antimicrobials for improving the quality of merino lambs

The use of drugs for the treatment of respiratory diseases complicate the management in the extensive production of merino lambs. Natural components from algae and plants can be used for the production of lambs without drugs.
this project studies the effect of natural additives on lamb quality.

In Spain, there is a high extensive production of meat from Merino lamb. Merino lambs are raised with sheep up to 45 d of age in extensive facilities. After, Merino lambs are collected from different extensive farms and fattened together in intensive production systems and slaughtered with 90 d of age and 23 – 27 kg of body weight. Currently, this production system involves a high risk of Pasteurellosis disease in the lamb. The control and elimination of this disease in intensive system are based in the application of vaccines and drugs. However, the use of vaccines complicates the management and is uneconomical in the extensive production of Merino lambs. Further, the use of drugs as oxytetracycline and sulfonamides in the fattening period is very complex due to the need to leave a minimum period of withdrawal to avoid the appearance of residues in meat. The general aim of this project is to design a natural solution as an alternative treatment with drugs against Pasteurellosis disease of Merino lamb based on extensive systems. The structural diversity of algae and plant compounds is immense, and the impact of antimicrobial action they produce against microorganisms depends on their structural configuration. To achieve the general objective, it is necessary to establish three intermediate technological objectives: i) To design the natural antimicrobial solutions based on algae and plant extracts, improving its efficacy in laboratory (Objective 1); ii) To develop a system to apply the natural antimicrobials in the feed, analyzing its stability during feed manufacturing (Objective 2), and iii) To evaluate the effect of the inclusion of natural antimicrobials in the feed on performance and carcass and meat quality of Merino lambs (Objective 3). As consortium leader, Ovino del Suroeste, S.C.L. (OVISO) from Spain, dedicated to the production of Merino lambs, established a need to create a new solution to treat respiratory diseases. LombardaTrading, S.R.L. (LOMBARDA) from Italy, specialized in the trading of protein concentrate, dairy products, oils and fats intended for animal feed, is involved in the project in order to develop a new product composed by algae and plant extracts against Pasteurellosis disease. Products of LOMBARDA must meet the requirements established by OVISO. Thus, OVISO acts as first client demonstrator, and allows LOMBARDA to develop new contrasted products while increasing their portfolio and market volume. Furthermore, at the end of the project, OVISO will have reduced the economic losses linked to Pasteurellosis disease, and will have promoted meat raised without antibiotics to international markets. The project has a deadline of 24 months, will begin in September 2016, and has 2 workpackages: 1) Design of an antimicrobial treatment based on algae and plant extracts; and 2) Study of the interaction between the application frequency of the new natural solutions and animal-based factors.
Project ID: 
10 731
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
430 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Veterinary Medicine
Market Area: 
Animal Husbandry

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