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Hen’s-Eye View of Drug Use in the Fastest-Growing Chicken Market

  • Chicken companies suggest adding critical antibiotics to water
  • Drugs banned in the U.S. for poultry are used on Indian farms
Bloomberg business news

Indian Farms Feed Chickens Last-Resort Antibiotics

India’s biggest chicken supplier maintained for years that antibiotics weren’t used to produce its meat, and KFC’s local operator had said none of its chicken farmer-suppliers administered antibiotics used on humans. A close look at more than a dozen farms in India have led both to change their public stance.

Farmers raising thousands of fowl under contracts with broiler companies in the south Indian state of Telangana said they routinely gave antibiotics to their chickens via feed, water and injections, sometimes continuing the treatments until just days before the birds were slaughtered, according to a months-long investigation of poultry-raising practices in India. The drugs included “critically important” ones the World Health Organization says should be safeguarded to prolong their efficacy in people.