June 18, 2018
BPC sets facts straight about use of coccidiostat in poultry
The British Poultry Council (BPC) has issued more information on the antimicrobial coccidiostat to debunk some misconceptions around its use by poultry farmers.
Coccidiostats are used to treat coccidiosis, an intestinal parasitic disease, and preserve the health and welfare of birds under famers' care.
In the same way that pet owners pro-actively treat their dogs and cats with wormers to control worms, poultry farmers use coccidiostats to control coccidiosis in their birds to avoid pain and suffering.
BPC says that if coccidiosis is not controlled, the parasite can cause enteritis in birds leading to intestinal inflammation, reduced absorptive capacity, increased podo-dermatitis and increased mortality, and could require the use of medically important antibiotics.
It described coccidiosis as extremely common in all poultry worldwide and can compromise bird health and welfare, regardless of how they are kept, including indoor-reared, free-range, and organic.
It said the use of coccidiostats has increased in line with the increase in poultry production in the last four years (15% increase in production between 2012 and 2016).
Moreover, coccidiostats are animal-only antimicrobials that are not classified as veterinary medicinal products, and their usage is not linked to reduction in antibiotics. They do not contribute to antibiotic resistance.
The World Health Organisation, the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) and the European Surveillance Programme of Veterinary Antibiotics have confirmed that coccidiostats have no impact to human health.