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Following McDonald’s announcement that it will phase out antibiotic use in its chicken supply chain, after significant international and science-led campaigns about the overuse of antibiotics, Marks & Spencer’s head of agriculture has called this week for “more industry collaboration” on animal welfare.

M&S has also been taking big steps, becoming the first major retailer to source all of its fresh milk from RSPCA Assured dairy farms. These 37 farms, which are RSPCA certified, ensure high animal welfare standards.

Discussion has also pointed to the misuse, or overuse, of antibiotics in animal rearing as a symptom of a deeper problem. Philip Lymbery, chief executive at Compassion in World Farming, said: “Reductions in antibiotics need to be accompanied by a change in practice,” suggesting that antibiotic misuse goes hand in hand with poor industry standards and treatment of animals. Lymbery adds that antibiotics were propping up an “essentially flawed system”, and the industry needs to move to a system where antibiotics are not needed at all.

More here.

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