This week, new members joined the USAID (United States Agency for International Development)-funded project to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) due to poultry farming.
The project unites poultry associations to limit the use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections as this can contribute to AMR that spreads amongst human, animal and plant populations, weakening our ability to prevent and treat future infections.
The Transformational Farm Output Risk Mitigation (TRANSFORM) project aims to effectively tackle AMR and reduce its impact on global health security by leveraging multisectoral interventions using the ‘One Health’ approach that recognises the interdependencies between the health of humans, animals and the environment.
The International Poultry Council (IPC) hopes to drive global change within animal agriculture by uniting poultry industry associations and private sector organisations to support antimicrobial use stewardship principles. These include guiding actions to avoid the need to use antimicrobials and ensuring their proper use when needed.
This week, eleven poultry organisations have announced their commitment to antimicrobial use stewardship principles, including:
These organisations join eight others that have already adopted the principles. Collectively, the organisations span over 100 countries and represent more than 30% of global poultry meat production, reaching all sectors of poultry production from fully integrated systems to small farms.
Robin Horel, IPC president, said: “Each of the 19 organisations that have endorsed or adopted the antimicrobial use stewardship principles brings us closer to our goal of an industry-wide commitment. We’re inspired by the private sector leadership that has been demonstrated thus far, and hope others are motivated to take action to proactively reduce risks to their flocks and beyond.”
In adopting the principles, partaking organisations commit to taking action centre around four key points: first, organisations take a risk-based approach around each instance of antimicrobial use and consider why, when, which and how much to administer. Secondly, organisations will adopt farm management practices that improve animal health and reduce the need for antimicrobial use. Thirdly, organisations will only use antimicrobials in compliance with national authorisations and, fourth, that antimicrobials critically important for human medicine should only be used under a supervising veterinarian’s diagnosis and oversight.
Annie Kneedler, chief of party for TRANSFORM, commented: “Through the ‘One Health’ approach, we know that human health is linked with the health of animals. By advancing science-based antimicrobial use stewardship principles, we are able to create an ecosystem where animal health improves, the need for antibiotic use decreases, and animal production increases. These collective efforts contribute to the Global Health Security Agenda goals of reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases, lessening their impacts on the health of humans around the world.”
TRANSFORM is working in Kenya, India and Vietnam to advance market-driven animal health solutions that increase global health security by combatting zoonotic disease and AMR. By working throughout the value chain, the initiative aims to drive lasting, systemic change through on-farm practices, holistic animal nutrition research, antimicrobial use stewardship and access to finance to support animal health and economic sustainability.
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