The nutrition company’s feed additive, Yea-Sacc, is based on a live preparation of a strain of brewers’ yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
It is currently authorized for use in the diets of horses, cattle for fattening, dairy cows and calves in the EU.
Alltech European managing director, Kevin Tuck, said the company welcomes the extension of usage by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to minor ruminant species for fattening, such as sheep, goats and buffaloes.
“The EFSA scientific opinion on Yea-Sacc demonstrates the product’s continued stability in pelleted diets, and, highlights the significant increase in animal response in both dairy and beef cattle,” he told FeedNavigator.
EFSA reviewed several trials submitted by Alltech France under the company’s request for authorization and re-evaluation of the feed additive.
“As efficacy has been demonstrated for cattle for fattening and as the mechanism of action of the additive can be reasonably assumed to be same, efficacy for minor ruminant species reared for meat production can be presumed at a minimum dose of 1 x 108 CFU per kg of feed without the need for specific studies,” said the Parma-based agency.
Meat production trials
FEEDAP, in its review of three studies on the use of Yea-Sacc for cattle for fattening, said that while there were production benefits in all three trials, there was also an inconsistent response noted.
The trials were carried out in EU member states and all involved a comparison between a control group and a group given a target dose of Yea-Sacc of 1 x 108 CFU per kg of feed.
“In the third study a significant improvement in final body weight and average daily gain were achieved by more efficient feed utilization without an effect on intake, while in the second study the significant improvement in average daily gain appeared driven by increased feed intake without an effect on feed to gain ratio.
In the first study final weight and average weight gain were unchanged but achieved with less concentrate and an improved utilization of the concentrate fraction of the diet,” found the Panel.
Animals were fed concentrate and straw ad libitum in study 1 and total mixed rations (TMR) in studies 2 (based on corn silage, corn, wet corn gluten feed, rapeseed, wheat bran and wheat straw) and 3 (based on corn silage, corn meal, soybean meal, dried beet pulp and straw).
The additive was added in the concentrate portion of the diet in study 1 and mixed with the TMR in the other two studies. Observations were limited to feed intake, growth and any clinical observations, except study 1 in which carcass characteristics were also examined.
In the first study 152 male Holstein steers of approximately 160 kg initial bodyweight were allocated to one of eight pens, each containing 19 animals.
The intended duration of the study was 182 days, but minor respiratory problems, particularly amongst the test group (37/76 calves), led to the acclimatization period being extended. Consequently, only the data obtained between 14 and 182 days were considered.
The second and third studies were made at the same location and were of similar design.
In the second study 126 male Charolais with an initial bodyweight of approximately 518 kg were distributed to 18 pens of seven bulls per pen and, in the third trial, 239 female Charolais x Limousin cross breeds with an initial bodyweight of 394 kg were divided between 12 pens.
The duration of study 2 was 175 days and that of study 3 was 168 days.
Four trials with dairy cows showed that Yea-Sacc can increase milk yield when supplied at a minimum dose of 1 x 109 CFU per cow per day which equates to 5 x 107 CFU per kg of feed.
“As efficacy has been demonstrated for the dairy cow and as the mechanism of action of the additive can be reasonably assumed to be same, efficacy for minor species used for milk production can be presumed without the need for specific studies when used at a minimum dose of 5 x 107 CFU per kg of complete feed,” said the EFSA Panel.
The FEEDAP opinion can be read here.