French firm Lallemand Animal Nutrition (LAN) has acquired Microbial Developments (MDL), the manufacturer of animal health product Aviguard.

A LAN spokesman confirmed that MSD Animal Health would continue to be the sole UK distributor, and that “no change is planned” for this arrangement. It is understood that LAN hopes to establish Aviguard in new markets globally.

Aviguard is a freeze-dried preparation of intestinal bacteria from healthy adult chickens. The product is designed to reduce colonisation of salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria in the gut through “competitive exclusion”. It is marketed as a product to reduce dependence on routine antibiotic use.

LAN has also acquired MDL’s Aviguard and lactic acid bacteria fermentation plants, packing and research and development facilities in Malvern, Worcestershire. Aviguard will continue to be produced exclusively at the site.

MDL managing director Tim Nelson said the investment was good news for employees and customers, and would open new market opportunities for Aviguard. “Lallemand’s distribution network will complement our existing distribution arrangements for Aviguard, opening new market opportunities.”

Yannig Le Treut, general manager at LAN said that, with ever increasing pressure on the poultry industry to minimise routine use of antibiotics, Aviguard was “well positioned for the future”.

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