The British Poultry Council welcomes Defra’s report showing a 27% drop in sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals since 2014, meeting government target of 50mg/kg to combat the threat of Antimicrobial Resistance two years ahead of schedule.

BPC Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths said:
“We are very proud to be part of a nation that is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance. The fact we have overtaken our target two years ahead of schedule shows our approach around sustainable use of antibiotics is working.

British poultry meat farmers and vets have set an excellent example for others around the world to follow. We are very pleased to have established ourselves as the ‘pathfinders’ for the rest of the livestock farming sector and to uphold UK’s position at the forefront of international efforts to keep antibiotics available for future generations.

By ensuring that antibiotic therapies are used with good animal husbandry techniques ‘only when necessary’ and under the direction of a veterinarian has resulted in us stopping the prophylactic use of antibiotics, which we are very proud of.

An openness in our sector to encourage innovation and share best practice has helped reduce our use of antibiotics by 71% (23.72 tonnes in 2016) in the last four years, while production increased by 11% (1.79m tonnes in 2016).

The highest priority antibiotics that are critically important for humans are used only as a ‘last resort’ as we recognise the importance of these antibiotic classes in human medicine.

Through the BPC’s Antibiotic Stewardship, our members are committed to continue leading the way in sustainable use of antibiotics; protecting the health and welfare of our birds; safeguarding the efficacy of antibiotics and producing food our consumers trust.”