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Global egg industry adopts formal position on antimicrobial resistance

Egg industry leaders have adopted a formal position on antimicrobial resistance at their recent Global Leadership Conference in Kyoto, Japan.

The International Egg Commission (IEC) endorsed a statement that says its members support and will promote the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world’s consumers.

The statement says that the IEC:

  • Accepts that antimicrobial resistance (AMR), whether in humans or in animals, is an issue of global concern;
  • Acknowledges that the egg layer industry is a limited user of antimicrobials but that this limited use does not obviate the need for coordinated action with other animal product and human medical representative bodies, through the One Health approach of the OIE, WHO and FAO.
  • Will encourage the egg layer industry to reduce the use of antimicrobials, especially those for which resistance could pose the greatest animal and human health global risk.
  • Believes that the health and welfare of the birds in the care of producers must remain paramount and that care may include the responsible use of the right antimicrobials.

Knowledge on AMR

Its approach will be to make sure all producers are aware of the current knowledge on AMR and be able to access new knowledge as and when it becomes available. The IEC will endeavour to make knowledge on the subject as widely available as possible and stimulate governments and organisations to keep records on the use of antimicrobials. And it said it does not support the use of Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials in animal agriculture.

UK leads the way

The UK has been leading the way in recent years in reducing antimicrobials in the poultry and egg sectors. The laying hen sector has eliminated all use of highest priority CIAs in the past 2 years.

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