Following the successful elimination of Category I antibiotics for disease prevention in Canadian chicken production, Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) 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 (those antimicrobials not used in human medicine) along with 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 to governments," said Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "This strategy provides a sustainable means of meeting consumer expectations, while maintaining the ability for farmers to protect the health and wellbeing of their birds."
Consumers can be assured that Canadian chicken is free of antibiotic residues, and has been for decades, according to a press release from CFC. Canada has strict regulations with respect to antibiotic use and withdrawal times to ensure that chicken reaching the marketplace does not contain residues, which is monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
This decision builds on the objective of eliminating 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 and Use.
Chicken Farmers of Canada is responsible for ensuring that our 2,800 farmers produce the right amount of fresh, safe, high-quality chicken and that our farmer's views are taken into account when important agriculture and policy decisions are made.