Consumers are increasingly demanding that their meats come from animals raised in environmentally sensitive ways which give attention to animal welfare. Such methods improve meat quality. Poultry and rabbits require less land use than beef and pork, and were emphasized in this review.
More natural parasite control is desired without antibiotics. Plant extracts and essential oils can be used for parasites and include the following: rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), peppermint (Mentha piperita), spearmint (M. virdis), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides), thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and oregano (Origanum vulgare).
Extensive interviews were done of some farmers throughout British Columbia to see what remedies for parasites, bacteria, ticks and mites are used. Subsequently, a 180 page manual was developed. Specific remedies were included for different parasites. Experimental work was not done as the manual reports on current practices. Poultry farmers used 19 plants from 12 plant families, and rabbit growers used 11 plants from 8 families. (Many more plants are addressed in the full article.)
CONCLUSION: More natural forms of internal and external pest control are available for farmers raising animals for consumption. As well, many plants and essential oils are now being used for pest control in British Columbia. These products are more environmentally friendly, and provide less pesticide residue from in meat consumed.
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