Poultry Industry Leaders Unite Over Industry Principles To Reduce The Need To Use Antimicrobials

Antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections can contribute to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that spreads amongst human, animal, and plant populations, weakening our ability to prevent and treat future infections. To effectively tackle AMR and reduce its impact on global health security, the USAID-funded Transformational Farm Output Risk Mitigation (TRANSFORM) project is leveraging multisectoral interventions using the One Health approach that recognizes the interdependencies between the health of humans, animals, and the environment. As part of TRANSFORM, the International Poultry Council (IPC) is driving global change within animal agriculture by uniting poultry industry associations and private sector organizations in supporting antimicrobial use stewardship principles that guide actions to avoid the need to use, but when needed, ensure proper use of antimicrobials.

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Today (Wednesday, May 15), 11 poultry organisations are announcing their commitment to antimicrobial use stewardship principles that reduce the need to use antimicrobials at the farm level. These organisations are commended for recognising the importance of antimicrobial use stewardship:

  • Animal Husbandry Association of Vietnam (AHAV)
  • Asociación Latinoamericana de Avicultura (ALA)
  • British Poultry Council (BPC)
  • Canadian Poultry & Egg Processors (CPEP)
  • Cargill, Inc., a global agribusiness
  • Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC)
  • Hoa Phat, a Vietnam-based company
  • McDonald’s, a global food service provider
  • Srinivasa Farms, an India-based company
  • Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC)
  • Tyson Foods, a United States-based company

These organisations join eight others that have already adopted or endorsed the principles, including the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), Federación Nacional de Avicultores de Colombia (FENAVI), Poultry Federation of India (PFI), Unione Nazionale Filiere Agroalimentari Carni e Uova (UNAITALIA), Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association (TBA), Vietnam Poultry Association (VIPA), DABACO Group and Kenchic Limited.

“Each of the 19 organisations that have endorsed or adopted the antimicrobial use stewardship principles brings us closer to our goal of an industry-wide commitment,” said Robin Horel, IPC President. “We’re inspired by the private sector leadership that has been demonstrated thus far, and hope others are motivated to take action to proactively reduce risks to their flocks and beyond.”

Collectively, these organisations reach over 100 countries and represent over 40 per cent of global poultry meat production spanning all sectors of poultry production from fully integrated systems to small farms. Each of these organisations are demonstrating industry leadership in their commitment to these principles, recognizing that action starts at the farm.

By adopting or endorsing the principles, organisations are committed to encouraging or taking action that centres around four key points. First, organisations agree to take a risk-based approach around each instance of antimicrobial use and consider why, when, which and how much to administer. Second, organisations agree to adopt farm management practices that improve animal health and would reduce the need for antimicrobial use. Third, organisations commit to using antimicrobials only in compliance with national authorisations and, fourth, that antimicrobials critically important for human medicine should only be used under a supervising veterinarian’s diagnosis and oversight.

“Through the One Health approach, we know that human health is linked with the health of animals,” said Annie Kneedler, Chief of Party for TRANSFORM. “By advancing science-based antimicrobial use stewardship principles, we are able to create an ecosystem where animal health improves, the need for antibiotic use decreases, and animal production increases. These collective efforts contribute to the Global Health Security Agenda goals of reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases, lessening their impacts on the health of humans around the world.”

Led by a private-sector consortium that includes Cargill, Heifer International and IPC, TRANSFORM is working in Kenya, India and Vietnam to advance market-driven animal health solutions that increase global health security by combatting zoonotic disease and AMR. By working throughout the value chain, TRANSFORM aims to drive lasting, systemic change through on-farm practices, holistic animal nutrition research, antimicrobial use stewardship, and access to finance to support animal health and economic sustainability.

(Courtesy: OWSA)

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