UK poultry producers in antibiotic pledge

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

UK poultry producers in antibiotic pledge

Related tags Meat Antibiotic resistance Medicine European food safety authority Livestock Poultry

UK poultry farmers have pledged to cut antibiotic use in response to challenges laid down by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Following the EFSA Scientific Opinion on ESBLs and Amp-C in animals and food from animals, which recommended stopping or restricting use of 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins in food producing animals, and called for a a general reduction in overall antimicrobial use, the British Poultry Council has announced its members would be reducing veterinary medicine use.

John Reed, BPC chairman, said: “New scientific evidence on the threat of antimicrobial resistance is well documented and is being heeded by the poultry industry. As responsible stewards of veterinary medicine we want to meet that challenge.”

BPC members have committed to stopping the use of all cephalosporins in the poultry meat production chain with effect from 1 January 2012 and stopping the prophylactic use of all quinolones for day old chicks. They have also said they would review the use of all antimicrobials during production and work with government on options to survey ESBL/Amp-C prevalence in UK poultry

The EU commission published an action plan against the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance in November, which set out 12 key actions in a five year plan.

Reed added: “As a crucial and responsible part of the food supply chain for this country we have seen a need and taken action. We will continue to review our use of antibiotics and take further action based on scientific evidence.”

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