What's behind poultry's antibiotic success?

The British Poultry meat industry used 23.72 tonnes (t) of antibiotics in 2016, a 71% reduction in the use of antibiotics in the last four years. 

With sales of antibiotics for all livestock at around 400t every year, we’ve managed to cut our use, while production has increased by 11% to nearly 1 billion birds. The British Poultry Council (BPC) Antibiotic Stewardship Scheme shows members up and down the country are leading by example to ensure sustainable use of antibiotics and are protecting the health and welfare of birds.

The industry has stopped the preventative use of antibiotics and contributed to the new antibiotic standards for Red Tractor Poultry Assurance. Our highly professional and dedicated people work around the clock to review on-farm management practices and embed responsible use of antibiotics throughout the supply chain.

Farmers and veterinarians need antibiotics in their toolbox to treat sick birds and zero use is not an option. Yet sustainable use is about so much more than reduction targets; it’s about safeguarding the efficacy of antibiotics as part of sustainable food production; protecting the health and welfare of our birds; and feeding the nation with the food consumers trust. Our next challenge is to examine the link between antibiotic use and resistance in poultry production, and to contribute meaningfully to the global debate on antimicrobial resistance.

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