The British Poultry Council (BPC) says the O’Neill final report, which is published today, is a “very welcome addition” to a growing body of work on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
“This new report shares values with the work of the British poultry meat sector,” said BPC, “These include the reduction of unnecessary use, restricted use of highly-critical antibiotics, open reporting and exploration of alternatives.
“Antibiotics must be used responsibly but are, in some cases, necessary to preserve the health and welfare of birds. The industry, along with Government, is exploring different techniques in human and animal medicine to reduce to risk of antimicrobial resistance.”
The Council pointed out that the BPC Antibiotic Stewardship Scheme was set up in 2011 to develop a strategy for the responsible use of antibiotics in the UK poultry meat sector and that, since then, BPC member companies have reduced their antibiotic use by 44%.
“BPC members have been very successful since 2011,” said BPC, “and now is the time to benchmark the UK against the other agricultural sectors around Europe and globally.”
In that context, the Council added that over the coming months it will be reviewing how the work of the British poultry meat sector can make a meaningful contribution to the recommendations made in today’s report.