From: Jan Lee, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published September 16, 2014 08:47 AM

National Chicken Council to Phase Out Some Poultry Antibiotics

Only about 10 percent of the antibiotics used in chicken are actually used in humans, says the National Chicken Council. Its statement comes on the heels of a controversial report by Reuters indicating increasing proof that the prophylactic medications used in chickens are fueling antibiotic resistance not just in fowl, but in humans as well.

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In a statement yesterday, the NCC refuted these assertions, claiming that only a small portion of the antibiotics that Reuters journalist Kate Kelland examined – about 10 percent – were also used in humans. The rest of the antibiotics used in fowl are not used in human populations.

"All antibiotics used to prevent and treat disease in chickens are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The majority of these antibiotics are never used in human medicine and therefore represent no threat of creating resistance in humans," said Ashley Peterson, NCC vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.

That said, Peterson announced, new changes are on the horizon for those meds that are also used in human populations. "While minimally used in raising chickens, by December 2016, these antibiotics that are important to human medicine will be labeled for use in food animals only to prevent and treat disease, under the supervision and care of a veterinarian," he said. He likened the future guidelines to those applied to treatments applied to other animals. "Much like a companion animal veterinarian would use de-worming compounds to prevent illness in puppies and kitten," Peterson said, the antibiotics would be used to treat opportunistic illnesses not treated by other medications. He did not specify how often that need arises in poultry.

Continue reading at ENN affiliate Triple Pundit.

Chicken image via Shutterstock.

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