Chicken feathers as proof

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Chicken feathers as proof

Farmers are permitted give antibiotics to their chickens, but only if the animals are sick and the medication is prescribed by a veterinarian. This restriction is an important mechanic to control the resistance to antibiotics of harmful bacteria. Wageningen researchers have developed a method that not only faultlessly shows whether chickens have been given antibiotics, but also identifies the antibiotics that were used.

They discovered that antibiotic residues can be detected in chicken feathers. The pattern of residues shows when and how often the antibiotics were given. The test can identify more than forty antibiotics and is animal friendly. As a result, Wageningen UR is working on trying to improve the quality of life.

The beauty of this method is being able to look back in time.
Tina Zuidema, Expertise Group Leader Veterinary Drugs

Scientific paper