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Antimicrobial reduction in broilers

Reducing reliance on antimicrobials is crucial in tackling the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. Limiting preventable antibiotics allows essential antibiotics to remain effective when needed to support broiler and human health. The emphasis on this matter is further heightened through the increasing demand for antibiotic-free broiler meat, as a result of increased awareness of the associated risks.

Producing antibiotic-free broilers

We recommend taking a holistic, consistent and sustainable approach to the antibiotic-free production of broilers, focused on excellent feed, farm and health management, to future-proof your flocks and reduce the potential for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The first step is removing antibiotic growth promoters and prophylactic antibiotics, ask your veterinarian to perform an antibiogram to evaluate the sensitivity of certain bacteria to antibiotics used on your farm. Ultimately, we’ve found that customers are able to produce up to 99% of their flocks without use of any antibiotics or ionophore anticoccidials.

Raising broilers without prophylactic antibiotics

Broiler producers worldwide are moving toward reducing or altogether banning the use of prophylactic antibiotics, in addition to eliminating antibiotic growth promoters (AGP). While the trend toward reducing or eliminating preventive antibiotics is strong, there are variations by market, where government, retail or certain customer segments can prove influential. Even so, to capture the greatest share of the market, we recommend following the trend of producing broilers without the use of preventive antibiotics. Because, driven by an increase in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), removing preventive antibiotics has improved broiler performance, especially when combined with enhanced feed, farm and health management practices.

Encourage production of broilers without antibiotic growth promoters (AGP-free)

Increasingly, broilers are produced without antibiotic growth promoters (AGP), which have been banned since early 2000 in many countries (in part due to pressure from governments, the retail segment and customers). Eliminating AGPs is important because of rising antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals, and the decreased efficacy of AGP. Instead, investments in feed, farm and health management drive consistent, sustainable performance improvement, which will command a greater market share or licence to supply or export to certain markets, with higher broiler prices.

By reducing antibiotic use, you keep the antibiotics effective for the animals and for humans while answering an increasing trend for antibiotic free produced meat.
Barbara Brutsaert – Global Programme Manager Poultry Gut Health

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