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New Zealand meat to be antibiotic-free by 2030

by Futures Centre, Aug 6
2 minutes read

President of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, Dr Steve Merchant, has set goals for meat produced in New Zealand to be free of antibiotics by 2030.


Antibiotics are currently fed to livestock to fatten them up, and make them more resistant to living conditions in large-scale or industrialised farms. However, the mainstream use of antibiotics is leading to a rise in forms of bacteria that are resistant or immune to treatment, posing a threat to both humans and animals. Dr Merchant explains, “with sharply increasing levels of resistance to antibiotics worldwide, we want animals and, by extension, humans to enter the ‘post-antibiotic’ era as safely as possible”.

A growing number of companies and campaigns are looking to reduce the use of antibiotics in meat production. Chipotle, for example, only serves antibiotic-free pork, chicken and beef.  Earlier this year, McDonalds announced it would no longer source antibiotic-fed chicken, with Tyson Foods then following suit by planning to remove antibiotics from its entire livestock range by 2017.

However, this is the first time, a nation-wide goal of being antibiotic-free has been set by a country.

As Dr Merchant adds, “New Zealand is well suited to this challenge; given our size, proximity of the various specialities and relevant industry sectors, and already low use of antibiotics.


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