New £400,000 research targets reduced antibiotic use in poultry

The poultry industry in Québec has been given the equivalent of £400,000 by the Canadian Government to fund a new research programme to help the local poultry industry reduce the preventive use of antibiotics.

The new funding is being channelled through Éleveurs de volailles du Québec (ÉVQ), whose membership includes all of Quebec’s 814 chicken and turkey producers. The research itself is to be carried out at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

“The Government of Canada recognises that the use of antibiotics in agriculture is of growing concern with consumers,” said Member of Parliament, Pierre Breton, who is also a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“The Government is supporting the Quebec poultry industry as it continues research to reduce the use of antibiotics in chicken production, which will benefit public health and promote prosperity for producers and all Canadians.”

ÉVQ president, Pierre-Luc Leblanc, welcoming the award, added: “The Quebec poultry industry is committed to developing cutting-edge farming methods while maintaining strict, rigorous animal welfare standards. Flock health and the quality of consumer products are top priorities.

“Working with the Poultry Research Chair (at the university), we are taking the necessary steps to preserve and enhance these priority areas by building on research and development.”

The new research grant builds on a previous anti-microbial resistance project, also funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, which is part of a five-year, $698 million (£398m) Agri-Innovation programme called “Growing Forward 2” and which is seeking solutions that can be applied across the entire poultry industry.

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