The UK laying hen sector monitors total usage on the basis of bird-days* medicated (daily doses**) as a proportion of the estimated total number of bird-days at risk based on Lion Code census figures
The target 2017-2020 was for % bird days medicated to remain below 1%
HP CIA (fluoroquinolone + colistin) days medicated was also to be <0.05%
No HP-CIAs were used in 2019 at all, and sector use was 0.683% bird days treated – an increase on 2017 & 2018 but a reduction from 2016; annual fluctuations are expected due to disease pressures but the target has been achieved each year
Due to expected system changes for fresh egg production away from colony cages over the next few years, an increase in disease challenge is anticipated and will need to be treated if it emerges
For this reason, targets will remain the same for 2021-2024
For more detail on progress against the 2017-2020 the laying hen targets, and new targets 2021-2024, please refer to the full Targets Task Force Report 2020.
*A bird-day is the standard denominator used to calculate all proportions, or percentages. For the year, it is the mean daily population of birds in the Lion scheme (including breeding birds and pullets in rear) multiplied by 365.
**A daily dose is a single chicken treated with an antibiotic for one day. Courses of treatment will vary with the clinical need, but are typically 3-5 days. So a flock of 5,000 chickens treated with an antibiotic for 3 days is 15,000 daily doses.