Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 98

fattening multiple animals on the farm, namely
chickens, rabbits, sows, piglets, pigs and cattle.
The additive can also be used in the rearing of
calves, and the debate took place on the follow-
up to the EFSA opinion adopted in July 2014.
The Scientific Committee of the EFSA Panel on
Additives and Products or Substances used in
Animal Feed (FEEDAP) published an opinion on
the safety of using Toyocerin in 2013. The
additive includes spores of a strain of
Bacillus
cereus,
which, when applied to animal feed, is
intended to “improve performance”. The EFSA
found that whilst the additive “is well tolerated
by the various categories of pigs, cattle,
chickens and rabbits”, there are also signs of
resistance to two antibiotics, including one that
“can be ascribed to an acquired resistance”.
The effects of antibiotic resistance are a major
consideration for both scientists and policy
makers at present. Consequently, FEEDAP
“considers it inadvisable to introduce into target
species a resistance determinant capable of
transfer to other bacterial strains”.
Research calls
The 2014-2015 Horizon 2020 Work
Programme of the ‘Food security; sustainable
agriculture and forestry; marine, maritime and
inland water research; and the bioeconomy’
Societal Challenge includes provision for
funding research under the call for ‘Sustainable
food security’. Research is made available
under the topic of ‘Sustainable terrestrial
livestock production’, where the Commission
highlights “the increasing demand for animal
derived food and the mounting pressure over
land use, [as well as the] further intensification
and expansion of animal production”. Pressures
include those on “the environment, human
health and the welfare of animals”. The
Commission also emphasises the problem of
climate change as “an additional pressure to
the sustainability (e.g. productivity, health) of
livestock systems”.
T
he European agricultural industry is a major contributor to the
EU’s economy. According to the European Commission, the
agriculture and agri-foods industry contributes 6% to the EU’s
GDP. With 15 million businesses providing 46 million jobs, Europe’s green
fields are the lifeblood to many of Europe’s rural towns and villages, as
well as indirectly supporting the lives of citizens residing in urban areas.
The EU is estimated to have around 12 million full time farmers (around
ten million more than the United States) and an average farm size of 15
hectares. The Commission supports the agricultural community in
member states through its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which
primarily promotes sustainable and balanced development in rural areas.
The Commission envisages that European farming must meet citizens’
concerns regarding food – including availability, price, variety, quality and
safety – as well as safeguarding the environment and allowing farmers
to sustain a livelihood.
Feed additives
As part of the Union’s agricultural sector, around five million farmers raise
livestock for human consumption, alone benefitting the EU’s economy
by €130bn. To support these animals, 450 million tonnes of feed is
needed annually. It is not just material feed that animals require as part
of their routine, but also a variety of additives and compounds that are
added to it.
The Commission and EU member states hold regular discussions on
animal nutrition issues and applications of feed additives. During a
meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed
held in Brussels in October 2014, attendees heard and discussed the
opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the use of
Toyocerin® (
Bacillus toyonensis
NCIMB 14858T), a feed additive for
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
98
A N I M A L H E A L T H
Food for thought
Portal
assesses the importance of the livestock food sector to the EU and
considers the thoughts of the Animal Task Force regarding Horizon 2020
The ATF is also
emphasising the
reduction of the
environmental impact
of animal production
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