Antimicrobial Use

“Producing Safe, High Quality and Sustainable Food with the Responsible Use of Antimicrobials.”

CBH Vision for Antimicrobial Use Stewardship in Food Animals

Vision – Executive Summary (Please Note Policy Below)*

Country Bird Holdings (CBH) strives to provide safe and high-quality foods that promote all lives.  We are committed to the three pillars of sustainability being food security, self-sufficient society and balance of nature.  Building on this foundation, our vision for antimicrobial use stewardship is producing safe, high quality and sustainable food, and in doing so, to use antimicrobials responsibly for animal care.

CBH has prioritized the following areas for focus and policy in our antimicrobial use stewardship:

  • Enacting global best practices of responsible antimicrobial use requiring those antimicrobials that are medically important for human medicine1 shall be used only for therapeutic uses2 under veterinary oversight3 and those antimicrobials that are animal only or those not medically important for human medicine shall be considered as the first options for use.
  • Elimination of the use of shared-class antimicrobials which are medically important for human medicine for growth promotion purposes globally.
  • Work with global experts and partner with all stakeholders to identify new and better ways to care for animals to enhance animal welfare and to reduce the need for antimicrobials.
  • Increase the role of the veterinarian in antimicrobial oversight, and collaborate to build awareness regarding antimicrobial use stewardship.
  • Improve antimicrobial resistance monitoring through collaboration with national and governmental organizations to advance their resistance monitoring programs.

CBH will work across the protein food chain to achieve this vision.  We will collaborate with all stakeholders using a balanced ‘One Health’ approach to protect the health of our people, animals and the planet.

1, 2, 3:  Please note references in ‘Global Antimicrobial Policy’

* Policy effective now with full implementation over the next two years.

Global Antimicrobial Policy:

CBH strives to provide safe and high quality foods that promote all lives.  We are committed to the three pillars of sustainability being food security, self-sufficient society and balance of nature based on our core philosophy of the three benefits to sustainability being for the country, people and company.  CBH believes that innovation and efficiency can enhance food quality and safety to create a healthy and self-reliant society preserving our limited natural resources.  Further we recognize our stewardship role to ensure the health and welfare of the animals in our care.

Our global vision for antimicrobial use stewardship is producing safe, high quality and sustainable food, and in doing so, we will use antimicrobials responsibly.  We recognize that consumers are concerned about how their food is produced and, specifically, the role and use of antimicrobials.  When making decisions regarding antimicrobial use, careful consideration will be given to all factors including antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial residues, food safety, animal welfare, sustainability and consumer preferences.  Antimicrobials are one way, but not the only way, to keep animals healthy.  Proper animal care is under the stewardship of the producer and the veterinarian, who together share the responsibility to carefully reduce the use of antimicrobials by using them responsibly to manage disease and keep animals healthy.

To achieve this vision, Country Bird Holdings has prioritized the following areas of focus and policy:

  1. Global best practices of responsible antimicrobial use in livestock, requiring prudent use, and prioritization for use that shall include:
    • Shared-class antimicrobials that are medically important for human medicine1 shall be used only for therapeutic uses that include disease treatment, control and prevention2 and under veterinary oversight3.
    • Antimicrobials that are not medically important for human medicine or animal only antimicrobials that are not related to any antimicrobials used in human medicine shall be considered as the first options for use.
  2. Elimination of the use of shared-class antimicrobials which are medically important for human medicine for growth promotion purposes globally, regardless of whether they are allowed by local regulations.
  3. Continue to identify new and better ways to care for animals to enhance animal welfare and to reduce the need for antimicrobials, including fostering an environment that stimulates innovation.
    • CBH along with global experts and veterinarians will work with our suppliers to establish procedures to incorporate the best practices that will be shared via industry association regarding farm management, husbandry, nutrition, sanitation, biosecurity, vaccination and other tools to lessen the need for antimicrobials.
    • Best health-management practices shall be utilized, recognizing that antimicrobial use for therapy, including disease treatment, control and prevention, is critical for animal well-being and health.
    • Partner with all stakeholders including the animal health industry and scientific institutions to identify and advance alternatives to antimicrobial use.
  4. Increase the role of the veterinarian, and also the training and capacity, particularly in developing countries, to ensure proper use of antimicrobial and other tools.
    • Work to increase awareness regarding antimicrobial use stewardship including training and education for key stakeholders.
    • As appropriate we will collaborate with governments to develop laws and regulations to build risk analysis based regulatory approval processes, as well as to build professional veterinarian infrastructure at the national level.
    • Antimicrobial use shall be under the direction of a veterinarian, where infrastructure exists, who has professional knowledge and understanding of the animals and how they are raised.
    • The veterinarian and the producer shall properly diagnose the specific disease and the animal’s care needs to determine the appropriate, specific antimicrobial for use.
    • We shall work with our growers and suppliers to develop health plans that narrow and target antimicrobial use for situations when considering those diseases that will occur, even before exhibiting clinical signs, thereby minimize the overall need for antimicrobials.
  5. Improve antimicrobial resistance monitoring, so we can accurately identify issues and track progress against resistance.
    • Collaborate with national and international governmental organizations to advance their resistance monitoring programs.

CBH has multiple steps to ensure appropriate antimicrobial use, first by ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations for all countries in which we do business, and second by taking the additional steps outlined in the focus areas above.  Further we will support country’s efforts to evolve and develop their statutory and regulatory infrastructure to improve antimicrobial and food safety controls.

We recognize the importance of healthy animals and their impact on human health and the health of the environment.  Healthy animals mitigate antimicrobial resistance potential and reduce disease spread.  They have a better quality of life and fulfill the growing need for meat, milk and eggs to nourish the increasing global population.  Healthy animals use resources more efficiently which help in conservation of natural resources and the environment.

CBH will work across the protein food chain globally, from research and development, raw material selection, animal feed production, farming and food processing to deliver safe and high quality food to our consumers.  We will also work with health systems to address this critical societal need, using a balanced, ‘One Health’ approach to protect the health of our people, animals and the planet.

References: 

  1. The World Health Organization “Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine, 4th Revision 2013” will provide reference to those antimicrobials most important for human medicine
  2. Definitions:
  • Therapeutic uses: includes treatment, control or prevention of a disease.
    • Reference sources:
      • OIE – Guidance for completing the OIE template for the collection of data on antimicrobial agents used in animals’. See Glossary of Terms p. 9.
      • S. FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, Guidance 213. See page 4 point A. Therapeutic Uses …
      • ‘World Veterinary Association Policy on Responsible Use of Antimicrobials’. WVA/16/PS/Rev.1, 20th July 2016.  See second Global Basic Principles.
      • American Veterinary Medical Association. https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Judicious-Therapeutic-Use-of-Antimicrobials.aspx  See Glossary definition for therapeutic.  Sourced January 19, 2017
      • ‘EPRUMA – Document on Veterinary Medicinal Product (VMP) Terminology’, 16 May 2013
    • Disease treatment: The use of antimicrobials for the specific purpose of treating animals with an established disease or illness.
    • Disease control: The use of an antimicrobial for reducing incidence of a specific disease following exposure to the related infectious disease.
    • Disease prevention: The use of an antimicrobial prior to expected exposure to an infectious disease or prior to exhibition of anticipated clinical signs.
    • Growth promotion: The use of an antimicrobial in the absence of a diagnosed disease or evidence that a specific disease is likely to occur that results in animals growing faster or being more efficient by maintaining the right balance of bacteria for improved nutrient utilization.
    • Shared-class antimicrobials: Those antimicrobials in a class that are approved for use in both animals and humans.
    • Animal only antimicrobials: Those antimicrobials in a class that have been approved for use in animals only and are not used in human medicine.
  1. Veterinary oversight: veterinarians are professionally educated to provide proper animal care with training to diagnose diseases and determine appropriate antimicrobial use.  Where veterinary infrastructure and personnel are available CPF will require their oversight.  In developing countries where laws and infrastructure does not exist CPF corporate veterinarians will work with trained experts or professionals that have animal science or nutrition training to ensure appropriate antimicrobial use.

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