AAAP Supports Right to Treat Sick Poultry with FDA-Approved Antibiotics

US - The American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) “strongly supports” the right of licensed veterinarians to treat sick poultry and other food-producing animals with FDA-approved antibiotics that prevent pain and suffering, according to a position statement issued by the organisation.
calendar icon 19 February 2016
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“The poultry industry goes to great efforts to control disease through farm management, biosecurity practices and vaccination,” the statement said, “however, there are situations where birds do get sick” and need to be treated with antibiotics.

AAAP said it also supports using the professional judgement of veterinarians for antibiotic treatments if flocks are at risk of becoming sick with a disease that can be prevented.

“Feed additive antibiotics work largely in part by controlling and preventing enteritis, which as a result improves the efficiency of the growing animal,” the organisation said in its February 2016 statement, “Position on the Judicious Use of Drugs Fed to Poultry and the Risks to Human Health.”

“Controlling and preventing disease reduces the number of poultry barns necessary; in addition, there is less use of electricity, water, corn and soybeans and propane when using an antibiotic tool to prevent these enteric diseases,” AAAP added.

The organisation noted that statements made outside the industry about antimicrobial consumption are often misleading. Furthermore, AAAP said it supported efforts to gather more scientific data about antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance that will guide future decision-making policies.

In addition to judicious use of antibiotics, AAAP said it supported research in the development of antimicrobial alternatives, improvement of preventive control measures, such as vaccines and other tools to improve health, comfort and immunity of birds.

“Veterinary professionals are in the best position to make decisions that keep animals healthy, which concurrently improves food safety and reduces the carbon footprint,” AAAP concluded.

For more than 57 years, AAAP has promoted scientific knowledge to enhance the health, well-being, and productivity of poultry to provide safe and abundant food for the world. For more information, go to

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