June 7, 2018
UK's antibiotics use in poultry production plunged by 82% over past six years
The use of antibiotics in UK poultry production has fallen by 82% over the past six years and by close to 40% in 2017 alone, according to a report by the British Poultry Council (BPC).
The 2018 Antibiotic Stewardship Report also reveals the reduced use of the antibiotic
fluroquinolones between 2012 and 2017.
"Poultry is half of the meat eaten in the UK and we use less than 9.7% of the total antibiotics licensed for food producing animals," said British Poultry Council's chairman, John Reed, who also noted that the industry has ceased "all preventative treatments as well as the use of colistin."
"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," he added.
While reduction is the key, Reed advocates for "responsible use" of antibiotics.
"Zero use is neither ethical nor sustainable as it goes against farmers' duty to alleviate pain and suffering," he said.
UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss acknowledged BPC's achievements and remarked the importance of continuously reviewing on-farm biosecurity and disease management practices, coupled with "prudent" antibiotics use, in ensuring the sustainability of British agriculture.