Canada’s chicken farmers continue to evolve their production practices in response to consumer preferences, and they’re clear: Canadians want to know where their food comes from, how it’s raised, and what goes into it. Part of the curiosity surrounding what goes into one’s food is the question of medicine usage on the farm, or antibiotics, which can also be referred to as antimicrobials.
While Chicken Farmers of Canada supports the responsible use of antimicrobials in both animal and human medicine, we are researching ways to control, monitor and reduce their use on-farm through our antimicrobial use (AMU) strategy.
Chicken Farmers of Canada developed this strategy in conjunction with all of its industry stakeholders: it is supported by the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada, the Canadian Hatchery Federation, the Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, Turkey Farmers of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Poultry Veterinarians.
Key elements of our AMU strategy include:
- defining antimicrobial use and analyzing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) trends
- reviewing best management practices
- ensuring effective controls of AMU in Canada
- educating stakeholders on the issues of AMU and AMR
- researching and determining the availability of alternative products
The biggest step in this strategy was the elimination of Category I antibiotics – throughout the chicken sector. Category I antibiotics are those considered most important to human health, and as of May 15, 2014, their preventive use was no longer permitted in the Canadian chicken sector.
This reduction strategy is a significant step for the industry and we will continue to work with government and stakeholders to ensure responsible use and address this important issue.
To learn more, click on the following links: