Perdue commits to human and animal antibiotic reduction
Less than a year after eliminating the routine use of human antibiotics in its chicken production, US poultry producer, Perdue Farms has announced it is now raising more than half its chickens with no antibiotics of any kind – human or animal.
"We believe consumers are concerned about the use of all antibiotics, not just some. Through our No Antibiotics Ever chickens, we want to give them a choice that carries transparency and confidence," said chairman Jim Perdue.
Antibiotics are typically administered in four ways: human antibiotics are injected into the egg in the hatchery. Human antibiotics can also be put into the feed for faster growth promotion. Human antibiotics can also be mixed with the water or feed to treat or prevent disease. The fourth way is to use animal-only antibiotics.
"We completely eliminated the first two uses in September of 2014, and have improved the way we raise chickens so that 96% of our flocks never require treatment with a human antibiotic," explained Bruce Stewart Brown, DVM, Perdue's senior vice president of food safety, quality and live production. "However, we're going to continue to reduce our use of animal-only antibiotics, so that we're raising as many chickens as we can with no antibiotics of any kind – and offering that choice to consumers."
No antibiotics ever range
To support this goal, the company has brought a full range of no-antibiotics-ever chicken products into mainline distribution.
"Since Perdue eliminated the routine use of human antibiotics, other poultry companies have responded with a confusing array of promises: consumers aren't sure what they're buying," said Eric Christianson, senior vice president of marketing and innovation. "Our antibiotic free products give consumers who want chicken raised without any antibiotics a clear choice - one that's available right now, not months or years away."
The company now offers more than 100 no-antibiotics-ever chicken products, plus a growing line of no-antibiotics-ever turkey and pork.
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