With the aim to debunk some of the misconceptions around the use of Coccidiostats by poultry farmers,  here’s  everything you want to know about Coccidiostats and how our farmers are using them to treat Coccidiosis (an intestinal parasitic disease) and preserving the health and welfare of birds under their care:

As you may have read in our 2018 Antibiotic Stewardship Report, the British poultry meat sector’s drive for excellence in bird health and welfare is delivering responsible use of antibiotics and safeguarding the efficacy of antibiotics across the supply chain. We’ve successfully reduced our antibiotic use by 82% in the last six years and have stopped all preventative treatments as well as the use of colistin. The highest priority antibiotics that are critically important for humans are used only as a ‘last resort’.

Ensuring good bird health and welfare is part of every farmer’s responsibility to avoid pain and suffering and to preserve the health and welfare of birds under their care. The very way pet owners pro-actively treat their dogs and cats with wormers to control worms, poultry farmers use coccidiostats to control Coccidiosis (an intestinal parasitic disease) in their birds to avoid pain and suffering.

If coccidiosis is not controlled, the parasite can cause enteritis in birds leading to intestinal inflammation, reduced absorptive capacity, increased podo-dermatitis, increased mortality and could require the use of medically important antibiotics.  This parasite is 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.

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).

Coccidiostats are animal-only antimicrobials that are not classified as veterinary medicinal products and their usage is not linked to reduction in antibiotics. Coccidiostats are mainly used to control coccidiosis, maintain intestinal integrity, alleviate pain and suffering and help deliver good bird health and welfare.

These animal-only antimicrobials are not used in human medicine and 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.