2 Sisters makes antibiotic commitment on poultry

2 Sisters Food Group (2SFG) is to stop using in its poultry production all antibiotics prioritised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being critically important to human health. 

This move will help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotic use for people, by reducing the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can spread to humans and make standard treatments of infectious diseases ineffective.

Antibiotics are used in poultry production to treat and prevent infectious diseases and safeguard poultry health and welfare.

For the past two years, 2SFG has not used three of the antibiotic classes identified by the WHO as highest priority, critically important to human medicine – the third and fourth generation cephalosporins or fluroquinolones. The announcement, made on 30 April, also excludes the antibiotic class macrolides from all of the company’s broiler production.

2SFG also announced it will establish two trial farms, which will research, develop and roll out techniques and management practices that will reduce the industry’s need for antibiotics in the future.

“As a responsible and forward-thinking organisation, we are keen to lead on this increasingly important issue and take a stand that we feel is pragmatic and sensible,” said 2SFG chief executive Ranjit Singh.

“We are committed to ensuring that we use all medicines, including antibiotics, in a responsible manner across the farms that supply us, and lead the industry in delivering a strategy which protects both animal and human interests, now and in the future.”

In drawing up the new policy, the business said it reviewed expert opinion from WHO as well as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and The European Medicines Authority (EMA) and worked with the Food Animal Initiative (FAI).

Michelle Waterman, 2SFG’s agriculture director, added: “Our plan is also about replacing antibiotic use with other interventions wherever possible. This includes use of vaccinations and changes to husbandry and biosecurity techniques. Our strategy is continually refined through the use of trial locations to see what works best.”

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