Reducing the use of antibiotics in the animal husbandry industry is becoming increasingly popular. In 2017, The Guardian published an article that stated that agri-business in the UK aims to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal food, and that excessive use of antibiotics in animals could be one of the main reasons to increased resistance in humans (1). The newspaper also reported a rise in the use of antibiotics described as “critically important in human medicine” in European Farms (2). These practices led to the presence of Staphylococcus aureus superbugs in UK-produced meats.  

The targets.

As part of its sustainable development goals, the United Nations aims to decrease antibiotic resistance. To achieve this, excessive use of antibiotics in food producing animals must drop, especially in intensive animal production systems (3). However, most farmers are concerned about the decrease of productive parameters and the increase of diseases or death in animals.

The UK government´s five-year national action plan – “Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019-2024”, aims to reduce the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals by 25% by 2020. Additional objectives will be set for 2025.

Some pilot studies in the field.

A recent study from BCM Veterinary research investigated the effects of removing antibiotics from pig diets. Results showed that pigs that were treated with antibiotics vs. non-treated pigs showed similar performance and no differences in mortality rate. The study concluded that removing prophylactic in feed-antibiotics is totally feasible and improves husbandry (5).

At the 60th International Meat Industry conference in 2019, a group from the University of Belgrade reviewed the use of different alternatives to replace antibiotics as preventive and prophylactic agents, especially non-antibiotics growth promotors. One of these alternatives is the phytobiotics, which is a novel feed additive derived from herbs, spices, and essential oils. These are obtained from natural sources and are not related to the resistance. Moreover, it does not create residues in the meat (6). These characteristics prove that phytogenics is an excellent alternative to replace antibiotics in animal production.

How Plantae Labs can help?

At Plantae Labs we have developed  Feed Sap and the Sap Capsule, which are natural solutions based on Quillaja Saponins. These products have an excellent antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and immunostimulatory capacity, and are great solutions that replace antibiotics in the feed industry. 

The antiprotozoal capacity is based on membranolytic properties of the triterpenic saponins, forming an irreversible complex with the cholesterol of the membrane, causing cell lysis (6).

Several trials at various research centers confirm the anticoccidial effect of our products, showing consistent results that will effectively replace (or reduce) the use of antimicrobials in animal husbandry.

For more information about our phytogenics solutions please contact our experts or go to our web page


  4. Diana, A., Boyle, L.A., Leonard, F.C. et al.Removing prophylactic antibiotics from pig feed: how does it affect their performance and health?. BMC Vet Res 15, 67 (2019).
  5. R Markovic et al2019 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 333 012029
  6. Actual and potential applications of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria saponins in human and animal nutrition, P:R Cheeke