A recent report shows that Norwegian chicken is free from antibiotics. As well as narasin, a drug that combats bowel disease, has been removed from production.
“Removing narasin from chicken production has not caused any problems. Critical voices argued that this would give the chicken stock an increase in bowel disease, which they do not,” says Professor Ørjan Olsvik at UiT, to the university’s own websites.
On the contrary, a recent report from the Norwegian Monitoring System for Antibiotic Resistance in Microbes (NORM) has shown that antibiotic use has fallen sharply.
In 2015 and 2016, only a few chicken flocks were treated with antibacterial agents, and in total, Norwegian chicken producers have managed to reduce the antibiotic use by 12.3 tonnes in two years.
This is the reason that the use of narasin is phased out.
In 2014 it was discovered that about half of the chickens in Norway were infected with a new type of antibiotic-resistant bacterium that was associated with the use of narasin.
The use of the substance became highly controversial among consumers, and that resulted in a great reduction in sales of chicken meat. The experts believed the feed additive could have lead to the antibiotic resistance. It was also questioned whether the resistant bacteria could be transferred to consumers.
Following the scandal, the Veterinary Institute has annually tested both chicken and turkey for resistant bacteria. The status report for 2017 showed that compared to other European countries, Norwegian-produced chicken has the lowest incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Over the last couple of years, the confidence of chicken producers has increased, and sales have risen again.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today