Growing Forward 2 - Final Report - Page 12

POULTRY There are over 1,100 chicken farming premises in Ontario, producing 202 million chickens worth $759 million, with an annual total chicken industry economic contribution of $2.7 billion.1 Several different species of birds are raised for agricultural products, including chickens, turkeys, ducks and game birds such as quail. Poultry products, including eggs and meat, are important sources of affordable animal protein worldwide. Broiler production has been described as one of the most intensive forms of animal husbandry, with animals being housed at very high densities in all stages of production. This approach can facilitate the spread of pathogens, including those with zoonotic potential such as Salmonella. The primary infectious problems affecting poultry are gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. Intestinal infections, such as colibacillosis and necrotic enteritis, are the primary indications for antibiotic therapy. In terms of respiratory infections, E. coli is the most significant causative organism, and it is often secondary to a different infectious or environmental stress. There are over 1,100 chicken farming premises in Ontario, producing 202 million chickens worth $759 million, with an annual total chicken industry economic contribution of $2.7 billion. Several different species of birds are raised for agricultural products, including chickens, turkeys, ducks and game birds such as quail. Currently, the poultry industry has been heavily dependent on the use of antimicrobials to control the spread of disease, and to promote intestinal health in meat birds. Antimicrobials in poultry are used at therapeutic or sub-therapeutic doses, and a wide variety of treatment protocols have been described. Intensive surveillance and constant monitoring of health and performance are consistent feature of these programs. 1 College of Veterinarians of Ontario‚ÄĀ http://www.ontariochicken.ca/Home.aspx 12