The Majority of Antibiotics Used in Poultry Production Are Not Used In Human Medicine

Did you know there are different types of antibiotics? Yes, you read right! Let’s take a look at the different categories of antibiotics.

All antibiotics aren’t created equal. In Canada, our antibiotics come in categories, from Category One, which are the most important antibiotics in human medicine – to Category Four, which aren’t even used by humans. Take a look at the chart below:

As you can see, there is an entire category of antibiotics that are “not applicable,” because they are not used at all in human medicine. And these are the types of antibiotics used most often in chicken production.  In fact, nearly 60% of all the antibiotics used in chicken production are not used in human medicine.  And farmers are working to reduce overall use.  For example, did you know the chicken industry has banned the preventative use of Category I antibiotics as well as categories II?

The success of these initiatives has been demonstrated through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s surveillance program – the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS). CIPARS has demonstrated an elimination of preventive use and has pointed to the chicken sector’s antimicrobial use strategy as a major factor for reduced antimicrobial resistance in targeted bacteria.