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IPC pledges coordinated effort on antibiotic resistance

The International Poultry Council (IPC) has pledged that the global poultry industry will move toward a coordinated effort do its part to address antibiotic resistance in animal agriculture.

At the IPC’s second semester conference in Estoril, Portugal, delegates representing the poultry industries in more than 20 countries spent much of their time discussing the issue of antimicrobial resistance and agreed to issue a comprehensive report in the next several months.

Public concerns about antibiotics shared

“The International Poultry Council shares the public’s concern about antibiotic resistance, which is an issue of global significance,” said IPC President Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council. “IPC recognises the need for collaborative efforts among governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and the poultry sector to minimise the development and transfer of antibiotic resistance.”

The IPC has been engaged on the issue of antibiotic resistance for several years, and issued a position statement on the prudent and judicious use of antibiotics in poultry production in 2015. Sumner said that the recent United Nations ministerial meeting on antimicrobial resistance has increased global visibility on the issue, particularly among international livestock organizations.

During the Portugal conference, IPC members discussed their obligation to ensure that animals in their care are free from disease and as healthy as possible.

Veterinary use of antibiotics necessary

Sumner said that the veterinary use of antibiotics and other interventions are effective and necessary tools to keep birds healthy. “It’s important that our industry maintain access to these forms of treatment, to ensure that they are used responsibly under veterinary supervision, and only when necessary,” he said. “Responsible use of antibiotics when treating not only poultry but all livestock is critical to minimise agriculture’s potential contribution to antibiotic resistance.”

Members of the IPC’s Working Group on Antimicrobial Resistance will continue working on the report in the coming months, said IPC Secretary General Marilia Rangel Campos. “The IPC is strongly committed to be more fully engaged on this issue,” she said. “We have a strong core of dedicated members who will continue to review the related research and global concerns on the issue in order to develop a document that contains specific recommendations on a path forward for the global poultry industry.”

Rangel, Sumner, and other IPC representatives also met in Paris with Dr Monique Eliot, the new director general of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to reaffirm the IPC’s commitment to responsible use of antibiotics and other veterinary interventions to minimise disease and to ensure a reliable global supply of animal protein.

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