STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga.- The International Poultry Council (IPC) promised that the global poultry industry would move toward a coordinated effort to do its part to address antibiotic resistance in animal agriculture.

IPC announced this at its second-semester conference in Portugal. More than 20 countries spent time discussing the issue of antimicrobial resistance and agreed to issue a comprehensive report in the next several months.

“The International Poultry Council shares the public’s concern about antibiotic resistance, which is an issue of global significance,” said IPC President Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council. “IPC recognizes the need for collaborative efforts among governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and the poultry sector to minimize the development and transfer of antibiotic resistance.”

Sumner also said that the recent United Nations ministerial meeting on antimicrobial resistance had increased global visibility on the issue, particularly among international livestock organizations.

During the Portugal conference, IPC members discussed their responsibility to guarantee that animals in their care are free from disease and as healthy as possible.

Sumner explained that the veterinary use of antibiotics and other interventions are effective and necessary tools to keep birds healthy.

“It’s important that our industry maintain access to these forms of treatment, to ensure that they are used responsibly under veterinary supervision, and only when necessary,” he said. “Responsible use of antibiotics when treating not only poultry but all livestock is critical to minimize agriculture’s potential contribution to antibiotic resistance.”

Members of the IPC’s Working Group on Antimicrobial Resistance will continue working on the report in the next few months.

“The IPC is strongly committed to be more fully engaged on this issue,” IPC Secretary General Marilia Rangel Campos said. “We have a strong core of dedicated members who will continue to review the related research and global concerns on the issue in order to develop a document that contains specific recommendations on a path forward for the global poultry industry.”