AMR a very important issue for AVEC

AMR a very important issue for AVEC

Date published:  26 March 2018

The European Poultry Sector takes the issue of AMR very seriously and we are ambitious and committed in minimizing the use of antibiotics to as little as possible but as much as necessary.

It is core to protect the health and welfare of our birds and therefore we rely on a sustainable and effective use of antimicrobials.   In addition, the European Poultry Industries (AVEC and EPB (European poultry breeders association) support to “Best-practice framework for the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals” as published by EPRUMA.

What is the EU poultry sector doing?

The European Poultry sector is since years acknowledging the problem and putting in place clear RECOMANDATIONS:

  1. Maintain adequate biosecurity and hygiene;
  2. Encourage open communication farmer-veterinarian/veterinary practice;
  3. Maintain a close cooperation with the authorities;
  4. Focus on the diagnosis and prescription of the appropriate treatment for the birds in our care.
  5. Stop preventive / prophylactic use;
  6. Cascade use only in exceptional cases and to avoid unacceptable compromise to animal welfare, where no medicine is authorized;

And effective ACTIONS:

  1. Use the highest priority critically important antibiotics for humans (CIAs) as last resort;
  2. Forbid the use of 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins and other antimicrobials important for human health care (the so called “last resort drugs”) in the European poultry meat and egg production chain.
  3. Register the usage and monitor the effect of antibiotic reduction;
  4. Benchmark;
  5. Industry initiatives – Quality assurance;

Some of the sectorial initiatives at national level:

The sectorial initiatives have been highly successful in driving antibiotic reduction across Europe:

UK: The British poultry council developed an Antibiotic Stewardship (2011), the poultry meat sector became the first UK livestock sector to pioneer a data collection mechanism and share antibiotic usage data with the government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).


  • Late 1990s: stopped the use of antibiotic growth promoters
  • 2011: began the BPC Antibiotic Stewardship programme
  • 2012: stopped the use of 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins
  • 2016: stopped prophylactic use of antibiotics

The Netherlands: Since 2008 the stakeholders of the Dutch poultry sector are cooperating in AVINED an intersectoral platform to grant an effective and sustainable Antibiotics usage. The Dutch poultry sector has achieved an extremely low usage of antibiotics over the last few years. The new action plan has been launched in 2016 and it is regularly adjusting. The measures include checking the animal housing climate more often, giving animal behaviour more attention, improving the quality of the drinking water and applying hygiene measures.

Germany and Austria

Germany and Austria established databases for monitoring antibiotic usage in poultry.