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

Did you know there are we  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?

Canada’s chicken industry made a proactive change in 2014 to eliminate the use of Category I antibiotics, those most important to human health. 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.

It’s a big step – and there are more to come.

*For more information on the categorizarion of antimicrobial based on the Health Canada chart above, please visit their website by clicking here.