How about not using antibiotics unless birds are sick?

While a full ban on preventive antibiotics isn’t the answer at this point,  the chicken industry is working towards eliminating the preventative use of Category II antibiotics by the end of December 2018 and has set a goal to eliminate the preventive use of Category III antibiotics by the end of 2020. Even though the majority of antibiotics used for chicken production are not the same antibiotics that are used for humans. The European experience has demonstrated that when preventive antibiotics are banned and birds get sick, a higher dose of a more powerful antibiotic is required – these are antibiotics that are often more important for human medicine.  That’s why Category IV antibiotics (e.g. ionophores), not used in human medicine, will continue to be used preventatively. The chicken industry is continuing to study all facets of antibiotic use in animal agriculture to ensure that responsible, appropriate and safe use of antibiotics can continue while reduction methods are explored at all levels of the industry, and with stakeholders and government partners. There is no straightforward, easy solution to the antibiotic resistance and use discussion.