Following the successful elimination of Category I antibiotics for disease prevention in Canadian chicken production, Chicken Farmers of Canada has established timelines to further its strategy to eliminate the preventive use of antimicrobials of human importance.
The antimicrobial use (AMU) strategy eliminates the preventive use of Category II antimicrobials by the end of 2018 and sets a goal to eliminate the preventive use of Category III antibiotics by the end of 2020.
Chicken Farmers of Canada's policy will maintain the use of ionophores — antimicrobials that are not used in human medicine — as well as antibiotics for therapeutic purposes to maintain the health and welfare of birds.
"Chicken Farmers of Canada has been a leader in antimicrobial stewardship, and this strategy provides continued confidence to consumers, customers and governments," Benoît Fontaine, chair of the organization, said. "This strategy provides a sustainable means of meeting consumer expectations while maintaining the ability for farmers to protect the health and well-being of their birds."
Canada has strict regulations with respect to antibiotic use and withdrawal times to ensure that chicken reaching the marketplace does not contain residues. This is monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
The latest decision builds on the objective to eliminate the preventative use of antibiotics of human importance, guided by a comprehensive strategy that involves reduction, surveillance, education and research.
The AMU strategy is consistent with the Canadian government's "Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance & Use."
CFIA's regulations for medicated feed ingredients are available online.
Chicken Farmers of Canada is responsible for ensuring that its 2,800 farmers produce the right amount of fresh, safe, high-quality chicken and that farmer's views are taken into account when important agricultural and policy decisions are made.