Turkey companies participated voluntarily and represented a large percentage of the overall U.S. turkey production

  • The antimicrobial use datasets represent approximately 70% of turkey produced annually based on USDA:National Agricultural Statistics Service published numbers
  • The antimicrobial use data that were submitted for 2021 include information on approximately 170,000,000 poults placed, 149,000,000 turkeys slaughtered, and 4,900,000,000 pounds liveweight produced

Several key diseases were targeted by antimicrobial administration

  • Clostridial dermatitis, a clostridial disease of turkeys, remains one of the most important diseases of turkeys that requires antimicrobial therapy
  • Bacterial enteritis also comprised a considerable fraction of the overall antimicrobial use in turkey production, typically in the young poults
  • Colibacillosis, a broad category of  colidiseases that affect turkeys, results in much of the antimicrobial use in feed and water

Antimicrobial use by all routes decreased substantially between 2013 and 2021

Hatchery Antimicrobials

    • The approximate percentage of turkey poults placed that received hatchery antimicrobials decreased from 97% in 2013 to 40% in 2021
    • Hatchery gentamicin use in turkey poults decreased approximately 50% between 2013 and 2021

In-Feed Antimicrobials

    • In-feed tetracycline use decreased approximately 80% between 2013 and 2021
    • Some approved uses of in-feed antimicrobial drugs were discontinued with implementation of GFI #213
      • There are no remaining approved uses of virginiamycin or in-feed tylosin in turkeys, and thus use of both of these antimicrobial drugs in-feed went to zero in 2017

Water-Soluble Antimicrobials

    • Medically important water-soluble antibiotic use in turkeys decreased substantially 2013-2017 and then stabilized or increased slightly 2017-2021. Increases were typically due to increased disease incidence, as seen in other countries as well, during the 2019-2021 period
      • Water-soluble penicillin use decreased by more than 41% since 2013
      • Water-soluble lincomycin use by more than 54% from 2013 to 2020 but then increased in 2021
      • Water-soluble tetracycline use remained fairly stable and then increased in 2020-2021
      • Water-soluble neomycin use decreased by more than 50% since 2013

There were substantial reductions in the use of most medically important antimicrobials in turkey production, regardless of route of administration

  • While a reduction in antimicrobial use may be an important indicator of improved stewardship, reducing the need for antimicrobials through improved disease prevention should be considered a more holistic indicator of overall flock health and optimal antimicrobial use

This project is funded via a multi-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U01FD005878) and multiple annual grants from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. The project could not have been such a success without the support and voluntary participation of the FDA, USDA-APHIS, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, United Egg Producers as well as layer, broiler chicken and turkey companies of the U.S.

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