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Omitting ionophores raises ethical conflicts for veterinarians

Some advocacy groups believe that more restaurants and foodservice companies should follow the lead of Chipotle, Panera and Chick-fil-A. These companies — which only buy chickens raised without any products classified as antibiotics, including ionophores — use this policy as a strategy for marketing to consumers.

Most poultry veterinarians cringe at the notion, however, and think eliminating ionophores on a large scale would jeopardize the sustainability of the industry, as well as the health and welfare of poultry flocks.

As one production veterinarian speaking anonymously at a poultry industry roundtable bluntly put it: “When we choose not to use ionophores, we’re making a decision to let birds die. Let’s be frank about it.”*

For more articles from this special report on ionophores, click on the titles below:

The case for ionophores: How they’re different from other antibiotics — and why it matters

Ionophores look different to other scientists, too

Are there practical alternatives to ionophores?

Are ionophores antibiotics? That depends on whom you ask

Ionophores: The price of elimination

Canada studies find no links between ionophores, resistance of other antibiotics

* Click here for a copy of the roundtable proceeding.



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