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Reward for Research into Animal Feed

Published on 25 August, 2007, Last updated at 13:34 GMT
 
25/08/2007

An Aberdeen scientist has been recognised for pioneering new types of animal feed.

The feed promises an alternative to antibiotics which promoted growth but are now banned.

Dr John Wallace, of Aberdeen's Rowett Research Institute, has been awarded the DSM Nutrition Award for 2007.

His research career has focused on the workings of the stomachs of animals such as cows and sheep, where billions of bugs aid digestion.


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Dr Wallace said: "Initially my research looked at how feed additives such as yeast worked, and I was also interested to discover the mechanism of action of antibiotics, which at one point were widely used in animal nutrition to promote growth.

"We found these additives have an effect on the metabolism of the rumen bugs, and can have a large impact on the how the animals grow, and their productivity," he said.

Last year growth-promoting antibiotics were banned in the EU, so farmers had to find new ways to maintain the level of production and remain competitive,

In the US, use of the antibiotics remains legal.

Dr Wallace said his research was seeking natural alternatives such as plant extracts.

The extracts could help the animals grow better, produce less toxic urine, and improve the fat content of milk.

Professor Morgan, director of the Rowett Institute, said: "This only serves to re-enforce the relevance and practical importance of the research the Rowett Institute continues to do."


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