Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of Enterococcus faecium (CNCM I-3236) as a silage additive for all species
Enterococcus faecium is a technological additive intended to improve the ensiling process at a proposed dose of 1 x 108 CFU/kg fresh material. The strain does not contain marker genes typical of hospital-associated isolates responsible for clinical infections and is susceptible to clinically relevant antibiotics. It is not expected that the use of E. faecium at the dose proposed would substantially increase the exposure to this species of animals given silage as part of their rations Therefore, the FEEDAP Panel considers that use of this strain in the preparation of silage is safe for the target animals. Since the strain does not belong to the hospital-associated clade and does not express resistance to the antibiotics tested, use of this strain in animal nutrition is not expected to raise concerns for consumers of animal products. The material safety data sheet proposed indicates that preparations containing the strain may cause irritation upon contact with skin and eyes. The dustiness of the preparation tested indicated a potential for users to be exposed via inhalation. Given the proteinaceous nature of the active agent, the additive should be considered to have the potential to be a skin/respiratory sensitiser and treated accordingly. The use of the strain under the conditions proposed is considered safe for the environment. Studies with laboratory-scale silos are described made using three samples of mixed forage of differing water-soluble carbohydrate content and representing material easy, moderately difficult and difficult to ensile. In each case, replicate silos containing treated forage were compared to identical silos containing the same but untreated forage. Because of the very limited responses to treatment in two of the three forage samples tested, the FEEDAP Panel is unable to conclude on the benefit of using the strain of E. faecium as a silage additive for all forage species.