24 November 1998
NI company claims first probiotic for scour

By FWi staff

A SMALL Northern Ireland company claims to have developed the worlds first medicinal “probiotic” to prevent scour, or diarrhoea, in young calves.

The development of the product is taking place when European authorities are becoming increasingly concerned by the use of antibiotics.

Provita Eurotechs Provita Protect claims to offer protection against pathogens such as e coli and salmonella. It has already been approved by UK and Irish authorities.

The Financial Times reports today that the product costs £3 per animal to administer.

It can be only be obtained through a vet, although the company is trying to get approval to sell it though permitted merchants.

The European Commission has suggested that four products – virginiamycin, tylosin, zinc bacitracin and spiramycin – will be banned within months.

The news follows growing evidence that the products are linked to increased resistance to antibiotics in humans.

But probiotics will not be affected because they promote bacterial growth, whereas antibiotics attack germs.