British poultry meat sector’s drive for excellence in bird health delivers again on antibiotic stewardship

The British Poultry Council has released its 2018 Antibiotic Stewardship Report which highlights the significant achievements made by the British poultry meat sector’s drive for excellence in bird health and welfare that’s delivering responsible use of antibiotics and safeguarding the efficacy of antibiotics across the supply chain
calendar icon 8 June 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

According to the new report, the British poultry meat sector’s focus on excellence in bird health and welfare has helped achieve:

  • 82% reduction in the total use of antibiotics in the last six years (2012-2017)
  • 91% reduction in the use of Fluoroquinolones (Critically Important Antibiotic for human health) in the last six years (2012-2017)
  • 39.36% reduction in the total use of antibiotics in the last year (2016-2017)

British Poultry Council Chairman, John Reed, said:
“Poultry is half of the meat eaten in the UK and we use less than 9.7 percent of the total antibiotics licensed for food producing animals. We have successfully reduced our antibiotic use by 82 percent in the last six years and have stopped all preventative treatments as well as the use of colistin. The highest priority antibiotics that are critically important for humans are used only as a ‘last resort’.

Through BPC Antibiotic Stewardship, the British poultry meat sector is delivering excellence in bird health and welfare by monitoring and reviewing on-farm management practices and ensuring responsible use of antibiotics throughout our supply chain.

Our farmers and veterinarians need antibiotics in their toolbox to preserve the health and welfare of our birds. Responsible use of antibiotics is about so much more than reduction targets. Zero use is neither ethical nor sustainable as it goes against farmers’ duty to alleviate pain and suffering.

We stand committed to ensuring that antibiotic therapies are used with good animal husbandry techniques, ‘only when necessary’, and under the direction of a veterinarian, to protect the health and welfare of birds under our care.”

UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss said:
“The achievements made by members of the BPC are remarkable. Continuously reviewing on-farm biosecurity and disease management practices whilst ensuring prudent use of antibiotics is integral to the sustainability of British agriculture. The dedication and determination of BPC’s members to deliver responsible reductions in the use of antibiotics will help to protect and preserve the efficacy of antibiotics going forward.”

Veterinary Medicines Directorate CEO, Professor Peter Borriello said:
“The impressive reductions achieved demonstrate the commitment of BPC members to protect the health and welfare of British poultry whilst safeguarding human health. The BPC and its members have demonstrated what can be achieved with will, strong leadership and teamwork. This success puts the poultry sector at the vanguard globally on antibiotic stewardship”

As reported by the BPC

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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