US - US poultry producer Perdue Farms has announced that they are going beyond stopping the use of antibiotics that are medically important for humans in its chickens, and is now raising more than half its chickens with no antibiotics of any kind.
The company only eliminated the routine use of human antibiotics in its chicken production less than a year ago.
“We believe consumers are concerned about the use of all antibiotics, not just some. Through our No Antibiotics Ever chickens, we want to give them a choice that carries transparency and confidence,” said Chairman Jim Perdue.
Chicken companies typically use antibiotics four ways: human antibiotics are injected into the egg in the hatchery. Human antibiotics can also be put into the feed for faster growth promotion. Human antibiotics can also be mixed with the water or feed to treat or prevent disease. The fourth way is to use animal-only antibiotics.
“We completely eliminated the first two uses in September of 2014, and have improved the way we raise chickens so that 96 per cent of our flocks never require treatment with a human antibiotic,” explained Bruce Stewart Brown, DVM, Perdue’s senior vice president of food safety, quality and live production.
“However, we didn’t stop there. We’re going to continue to reduce our use of animal-only antibiotics, so that we’re raising as many chickens as we can with no antibiotics of any kind – and offering that choice to consumers.”
The company has released a new line of fresh, no-antibiotics-ever chicken, adding to their existing products of frozen and fresh cooked antibiotic-free chicken. It also has antibiotic-free turkey and pork products.
To coincide with the announcement, the company is launching a new advertising campaign on national television.
“The new campaign will raise awareness about Perdue’s commitment to providing consumers with the highest quality and best products for the dinner table – ones that include no antibiotics ever,” said Dan Bailin, group strategy director at The VIA Agency, which created the campaign.
“What’s important about this campaign is that Jim Perdue is making that pledge directly to the audience – a promise that’s very personal for him.”
Perdue now offers more than 100 no-antibiotics-ever chicken products, plus a growing line of no-antibiotics-ever turkey and pork.ThePoultrySite News Desk
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