British poultry sector further reduces antibiotic use

Usage has dropped 79.5% since 2012
calendar icon 8 September 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

The British Poultry Council has released its 2023 Antibiotic Stewardship Report, highlighting the significant achievements made by the members of the BPC Antibiotic Stewardship and their drive for excellence in bird health and welfare whilst safeguarding the efficacy of antibiotics across the supply chain.

The sector has achieved the following targets: 

  • 79.5% reduction in the total use of antibiotics since 2012
  • Zero Fluoroquinolones used in chicken meat production in 2022
  • 98.7% reduction in use of Critically Important Antibiotics since 2012

“The safe and responsible use of antibiotics has been prioritised by the poultry meat industry since 2011," said BPC chief executive Richard Griffiths. "Our BPC Antibiotic Stewardship has seen routine preventative application stopped and overall antibiotic use decrease by nearly 80%."

"A billion birds a year are reared for food in this country and our farmers have a duty of care to every single one," he added. "Part of that duty of care includes working with professional veterinarians to safeguard bird health and wellbeing by ensuring the sustainability of our antibiotics."

"These figures demonstrate our approach to treatment in real time, striving to keep our antibiotics effective, and as a result, we remain under government approved RUMA species-specific sector targets," Griffiths said. "Whilst it is important that we continue to challenge antibiotic use levels and strive for further reduction, it is crucial bird keepers treat their birds under strict veterinary direction if required to ensure the health and welfare of their livestock is not compromised."

"Preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics is critical to the long-term sustainability of the industry. As new alternate management practices and therapies come to market, these will be critically assessed, and the benefits and experiences gained shared across the sector," he concluded. "We believe this is the key to unlocking continuous improvement.”

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