Antibiotics a waste of money: new study

A new study by Johns Hopkins University researchers says that the poultry industry is losing money overall as a result of using antibiotics.

The study in this month's edition of the journal Public Health Reports is the first cost/benefit analysis of feeding poultry antibiotics to boost growth.
The Johns Hopkins researchers found that the growth-promoting antibiotics (GPAs) helped promote growth but cost about a penny per chicken more than the market value the birds gained from antibiotics. The researchers conducted their investigation using data from a study of 7 million chickens published previously by Perdue.
"The net effect of using GPAs was a lost value of $0.0093 per chicken," the study concluded.
"Based upon these data, the authors found no basis for the claim that the use of GPAs lowers the cost of production," it said.
The National Chicken Council said the study was flawed because it applied average figures for costs that in fact vary across the country.
The Keep Antibiotics Working coalition (KAW), which opposes the use of the drugs in animal feed and publicised the study, said the results show there is no business case for using them.
KAW said Perdue and three other large poultry producers - Tyson, Gold Kist and Foster Farms - say they no longer use antibiotics to promote growth.
Many types of growth-promoting antibiotics are banned in several areas of the world, including the EU and Australia, primarily because of concerns that the practice can lead to antibiotic-resistant infections in humans.

Editor WorldPoultry

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