Both the rising populations of humans and animals will impact the animal health industry this year. The demand for a protein-rich diet has never been higher. Meanwhile, public and professional attitudes have affected the demand for agricultural antibiotics. Here is a closer look at upcoming trends in the animal health industry.
Increased Demand for Meat around the Globe
Worldwide there will be an increased demand for meat products. Meat consumption will likely experience the most growth in Asia-Pacific and Latin American countries, particularly in China, India, and Brazil. Despite the economic downturn, the livestock industry has remained strong. Population growth and urbanization are two major factors contributing to the increase in meat consumption. The demand of animal feed will also increase. However, the products used in feed, such as barley, corn, and soybean are becoming harder to come by. The price of animal feed is expected to go up.
Decreased Antibiotic Use
The sale of medically important antibiotics has steadily declined the past few years and is expected to continue to decline in 2019. This trend has been driven by antibiotic stewardship efforts. Improved husbandry practices, biosecurity, and various disease prevention strategies have reduced the need for animal antibiotics worldwide. Consumers are concerned about food safety and animal health, so this trend is generally seen as an essential change in the livestock industry.
Another important focus will be improving livestock nutrition. Agricultural professionals are working on increasing the quality of feed, which starts with improving soil quality. Engineers are also working on gene editing technology to improve nutrients in the common plants used to produce animal feed. The demand of protein, in general, is on the rise. In addition to pork, beef, and poultry consumers are also interested in alternative sources of protein, such as insects, plant proteins, and lab-grown proteins. That said, traditional animal-based proteins will still take central stage.
As early as 2020, worldwide meat production could double, propelled by growing populations and income levels. This substantial growth is going to have far-reaching effects on the animal health industry. From decreases in the demand for antibiotics to developments in feed quality, there is a lot to look forward to.
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