Waitrose in discussion with suppliers
WAITROSE, which initiated a ban on fishmeal use in certain rations, is also reconsidering its policy on antibiotic use, according to a company spokesperson.
"We are in discussion with our suppliers regarding inclusion of antibiotic growth promoters in pig and poultry diets. There is no doubt they do support the health state of intensively reared animals and their withdrawal will probably lead to a greater disease risk and wider use of prescribed antibiotics." The company says it has already established a number of specialist schemes precluding use of antibiotic growth promoters, but allowing use of antibiotics for treatment of specific diseases.
Farm assurance scheme FABBL is also to look at antibiotic use, says technical manager Tim Green. "We have no plans at present to restrict use of antibiotics in feed, but should try to stay ahead of the game. It is easy to suddenly ban something but we dont want to fall into a fashion trap – we will seek best advice before taking any action.
"We have no policy on antibiotic use at the moment, but would be against prophylactic use."
Scottish farm assurance scheme SQBLA has no plans to change regulations on antibiotic use in feed, says chief executive Brian Simpson. "But we do consider all views – consumers as well as producers – and as we review all feedstuffs every year we are never in a firm position." *