US - One of the US's biggest poultry producers, Cargill, has announced it will be removing antibiotics used for disease prevention purposes from some of its turkey supply chains.
That follows an announcement in 2014 that the company would be removing antibiotics for growth promotion purposes.
On 1 August 2016, the company ended the use of gentamycin – an antibiotic used in both human and animal healthcare – for disease prevention in turkeys harvested for its two largest brands, Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms.
Cargill is also creating a new line of turkey products from birds that have never been treated with antibiotics.
The move comes after another major American chicken producer, Sanderson Farms, spoke out against the trend of zero-antibiotics chicken, labelling it a 'marketing gimmick'.
“To successfully meet the increasing demand from our customers for antibiotic-free turkey, we start with a larger number of birds than required knowing a percentage may become ill, require antibiotics and be removed from our antibiotic-free turkey program,” stated Tim Maupin, head of turkey agriculture operations for Cargill.
“We have an obligation to treat turkeys that get sick because we want healthy birds and it’s the right thing to do.”
ThePoultrySite News Desk