Antibiotic Use in Poultry Farms Commitment to Stewardship Grows

The use of antibiotics in animals or humans can lead to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which weakens the ability to prevent and treat future infections. Recognizing the responsibility to protect the efficacy of these essential drugs, the following organizations have announced their endorsement of science-based stewardship policies for antibiotic use that improve poultry health to avoid the need to use antibiotics:

  • Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in EU Countries (AVEC)

  • Poultry Production Council (BTT), Hungarian Poultry Association

  • Federal Association of Poultry Slaughterhouse eV (BVG), a German Poultry Association

  • Fédération des Industries Avicoles (FIA), a French poultry industry federation

  • National Poultry Council – Chamber of Commerce, National Poultry Council for Poland

  • Dutch Poultry Industry Association (NEPLUVI), a Dutch poultry association

A cornerstone of the Transformation Strategies for Farm Output Risk Mitigation (TRANSFORM) program of the US Agency of International Development (USAID), led by Cargill, was the development of antimicrobial stewardship policies to drive global change through the International Poultry Council (IPC). Ensure the correct use of antimicrobials, when necessary, by guiding measures to avoid the need for use in the animal agriculture industry. By building support from the global poultry industry for science-based policies to address antimicrobial use, the industry is working to combat AMR and reduce its impact on global health security.

These seven organizations join 19 others in adopting or adopting antimicrobial use stewardship policies that reduce the need to use antibiotics at the farm level. Previously announced sponsors include the Association of Livestock Care of Vietnam (AHAV), Associación Latinoamericana de Avicultura (ALA), Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), British Poultry Council (BPC), Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors (CPEP), Cargill, Inc. ., Poultry Farmers of Canada (CFC), DABACO Group, Federción Nacional de Avicultores de Colombia (FENAVI), Hoa Phat, Kenchic Limited, McDonald’s, Poultry Federation of India (PFI), Srinivasa Farms, Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association (TBA), Turkey Farmers Canada (TFC), Tyson Foods, Unione Nazionale Filiere Agroalimentari Carni e Uova (UNAITALIA), and Vietnam Poultry Association (VIPA).

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„By proactively supporting science-based antibiotic use policies, the private sector is sending a clear message that stewardship of antibiotics is good business,” said IPC President Ricardo Santin. „We hope to inspire others to make the same commitment to stewardship, adopting science-based practices that improve animal health and benefit their bottom line.”

Collectively, 26 organizations support antimicrobial stewardship policies, reaching more than 140 countries, representing more than 40% of global poultry production, and spanning all sectors of poultry production, from fully integrated systems to small farms. Each of these companies demonstrates industry leadership in their commitment to these principles, recognizing that action starts on the farm.

By adopting or endorsing policies, organizations commit to promoting or taking action centered around four key points. First, companies agree to take a risk-based approach to each instance of antimicrobial use and consider why, when, what and how much to administer. Second, companies agree to adopt farm management practices that improve animal health and reduce the need for antimicrobial use. Third, companies commit to use antibiotics only in accordance with national approvals, and fourth, antibiotics important to human medicine should only be used under the diagnosis and supervision of a supervising veterinarian.

„AMR is a global problem and it will take a global response to ensure that antibiotics remain a viable option for treating the disease in both animals and humans,” said Annie Needler, president of Transform Party. „By working with the public and private sector, we can identify market-based solutions that improve animal health, both reduce the risk of AMR and help protect global health security from other emerging disease threats.”

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Led by a private sector consortium that includes Cargill, Heifer International and IPC, Transform is developing market-based animal health solutions that increase global health protection against zoonotic disease and AMR in Kenya, India and Vietnam. Working across the value chain by leveraging a whole systems approach, TRANSFORM aims to make lasting, systemic change through on-farm practices, holistic animal nutrition research, antimicrobial use and access to finance to support animal health and economic sustainability.

Since its launch in 2021, Transform has trained 80,000 farmers in India and Kenya, 96% have reduced animal mortality and nearly a third have reported increased income after adopting one or a new biosecurity or farm management practice. Transform has worked with nearly 50 companies in India and Kenya to develop financial products and services for farmers, providing nearly $1 million in funding to farmers. TRANSFORM’s research portfolio includes 22 trials examining the impact of animal nutrition on priority pathogens and antimicrobial resistance genes.

For more information on Transform, visit www.cargill.com/sustainability/transform.

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