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News 1321 views last update:14 Jan 2016

UK poultry hit back at newspaper growth promoter claim

The British Poultry Council and the NFU (National Farmers Union) have moved to set the record straight on a story published in a national newspaper, The Sun, which they felt could seriously mislead readers.

The article by Lynsey Hope, 'From farm to fork in six weeks', discussed the age of animals at the point of slaughter and stated meat farmed in a conventional way is full of growth hormones, chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics. A concise version of the response below has been sent to the newspaper.


The organisations responded in writing saying:


Growth promoters were banned in the EU in 2006 and the British poultry industry stopped using them in the 90s. With regard to chemicals and pesticides, the UK Veterinary Residues Committee routinely tests poultry meat for any veterinary medicine and banned substances and poultry feed is also tested for any banned substances.


As far as the use of antibiotics is concerned, all animals have a right to be treated if they get sick, and the UK has a long history of using antibiotics responsibly and under strict veterinary supervision. Should birds be treated with antibiotics, strict withdrawal periods are applied in order to guarantee that the animal products or meat can safely enter the food chain.


Poultry producers use a range of production systems to meet the varying aspirations of different sections of the population and animal health and welfare is paramount to UK poultry producers in all rearing systems.

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