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The U.S. poultry industry can take the lead in defining responsible use of antibiotics in broiler and turkey production and should exert leadership to do so, according to the University of Minnesota’s Dr. Randall Singer.

There is no clear definition for responsible use of antibiotics in veterinary care, Singer said at the 2016 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) earlier this year, and the poultry and livestock sectors have the opportunity to set responsible standards.

Singer cautioned that new challenges in antibiotic resistance may arise as animal agriculture moves toward disease treatment and control under the Veterinary Feed Directive. He argued that responsible use of antibiotics in veterinary care is being too narrowly defined as simply forgoing the usage of antibiotics of human importance.

Read the entire report on responsible use of antibiotics in poultry production in the June issue of WATT PoultryUSA

In defining the responsible use of antibiotics in animal production, Singer said researchers should critically examine existing dogma about dosage and duration of treatment. It is based on administering high doses of antibiotics for short durations in the treatment of obligate pathogens like syphilis and tuberculosis in humans. However, treatment of commensals in poultry flocks and livestock herds presents different challenges in patterns of resistance.

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