New Resources Available about Current and Future Antibiotic Use in Poultry Industry

USPOULTRY releases new video; NCC details antibiotic use in new Q&A. Groups say antibiotics used in human medicine will be phased out for growth promotion by 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – To help provide insight into the current and future use of antibiotic use in poultry, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) today released a new video featuring two noted experts, Dr. Randy Singer, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Medicine, University of Minnesota, and Dr. Charles Hofacre, Professor, Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, Department of Population Health, University of Georgia.

Dr. Singer and Dr. Hofacre provide information on why antibiotics are given to poultry. Specifically, they address: how antibiotics are provided; how the decision is made to treat with antibiotics; how antibiotic use in poultry affects antibiotic resistance in foodborne pathogens; how flocks raised without antibiotics are treated if they get sick; the difference between medically and non-medically important antibiotics; and the future changes for antibiotic usage in poultry production.

“This video is intended to help those who are curious about antibiotic use in the poultry industry. We tried to provide enough detail so that a perspective could be gained on how veterinarians work to protect the health of poultry flocks and the public at large,” said Dr. Singer.

Dr. Hofacre commented, “As a faculty member at the University of Georgia, I receive questions almost every day about antibiotic usage. This video allows us to reach a larger audience to provide information that will be helpful to consumers.”

Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the National Chicken Council (NCC) added, “Raising healthy chickens is important to us, and we recognize that consumers want to better understand how their food is raised. Protecting our animals’ health and wellbeing is where we start.

“The use of antibiotics is one of many important tools in the prevention and treatment of human and animal disease. Preserving their effectiveness, both in humans and animals, is a responsibility we take seriously and we work continuously with animal health companies, our farmers and our veterinarians to determine when an antibiotic is really needed.

“We understand that consumers have questions and concerns about how and why antibiotics are used to treat and prevent disease in livestock and poultry,” Peterson continued. “In addition to this video, NCC has put together a detailed list of questions and answers about how, why and which antibiotics are used, or not used, in raising chickens. We hope these new resources will help to answer those questions and address some of those concerns.”

Under new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, by December 2016, antibiotics that are important to human medicine, while minimally used in broilers, will be labeled for use in food animals strictly to address disease and to be used exclusively under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.  Many poultry companies and pharmaceutical companies are moving far in advance of FDA regulatory deadlines for compliance.


The National Chicken Council (NCC), headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is the all-feather organization representing the complete spectrum of today’s poultry industry, whose mission is to progressively serve member companies through research, education, communication and technical assistance. Founded in 1947, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is based in Tucker, Ga.

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Address media inquiries to: Tom Super

Senior Vice President of Communications

[email protected] 202-443-4130