Perdue Chickens: Antibiotic Free, Probiotic Full

In order to keep its chickens free from diseases, Perdue Farms has started a new practice for their livestock: reducing the amount of antibiotics and replacing it with more probiotics.

This change follows the belief that probiotics, known as good bacteria, will prevent the chickens from developing a resistance to the drugs. It has been a long time practice for poultry companies to raise their chickens on antibiotics in order to prevent disease and increase the weight of their livestock, but the practice has recently become more and more concerning. Public health officials say that these practices can lead to the development of “superbugs” that are resistant to antibiotics as well as harmful to humans.

Due to a recent investigation by Reuters into the use of pharmaceuticals in six different chicken plants, Perdue included, United States lawmakers are proposing new legislation that will require companies to be more transparent with their use of antibiotics in livestock.

Kicking off the legislation is Perdue’s promise to stop the use of antibiotics as a preemptive measure in 95% of its chickens; the remaining 5% will only be used to treat livestock that are already ill. Probiotics are their newest form of disease prevention and other companies may soon follow suit to keep their chickens disease free.

Source: TIME

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