In Finland, production animals receive very little medication by international comparison, and the occurrence of drug residues in food is extremely rare.
Antibiotics are not used for preventive treatment. Instead, diseased animals are treated with appropriate care, avoiding unnecessary medication. Drug dosages are determined by a veterinary officer who also monitors the pharmaceutical records and drug use at farms. Animals are not slaughtered until the withdrawal period has expired.
Good living conditions, appropriate feeding and careful hygiene, as well as systematic disease prevention, ensure good animal health in Finland.
Chickens do not need antibiotics
Atria’s chickens are a prime example of this. Atria leads the way in Finland: it is committed to ensuring that its chickens do not receive antibiotics in their lifetimes. Beginning in autumn 2017, this antibiotics-free commitment will be indicated by a label on consumer packaging.
It is critical that antibiotics are not used unnecessarily – this applies to animals and humans alike. The excessive use of antibiotics accelerates the generation of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Animal well-being equals good animal health
Atria takes extremely good care of its chickens to ensure that they do not catch infections that require antibiotics. Moderate or non-existent use of antibiotics reduces the probability of the emergence and spread of superbugs.
Atria is actively working to minimise or completely abandon the use of antibiotics on pigs and cattle as well.
Finnish meat is safe
In many countries, antibiotics are routinely administered to production animals to accelerate growth and prevent disease. The meat produced in these countries has been found to contain high levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that may spread to people from food products or directly from the animals.
The World Health Organisation considers resistance to antibiotics to be one of the most significant global health threats. The spreading of superbugs, such as hospital-acquired MRSA or ESBL, which cause urinary and stomach infections, is extending treatment periods in healthcare and increasing costs, as well as causing treatments to fail and people to lose their lives.