Recently the The Poultry Site referenced a report made by Zoetis’ Poultry Health Today. It discusses the exception to the rule in poultry antibiotics.

When McDonald’s announced that they would ask their chicken suppliers to stop using antibiotics, they made one exception to the rule. There is a class of antibiotics called ionophores. This encompasses medicines like salinomycin, lasalocid and monensin. These are some of the drugs that fall under the ionophore class.

 They are vital to poultry producers because they are not considered medically important to humans, according to the World Health Organization. Therefore, it will not promote antibiotic resistance, which is the main reason why many people are demanding antibiotic-free food.

In an NCBI study called A Review of Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: Perspective, Policy, and Potential by Landers, Cohen, Wittum and Larson, they state that “there is currently no evidence to suggest that ionophore resistance is transferable or that co-selection for resistance to other classes of antimicrobials occurs.” Aside from poultry, these are also widely used in cattle feedlots.

While ionophores are classified as antibiotics, they are not used to treat bacterial infections. This class is reserved for coccidiosis management. Coccidia are parasites found on poultry farms. One oocyst can make 500 progeny. This occurs in the span of 4 to 7 days.

Coccidia causes gut damage, severe discomfort and death. If the condition were to spread, it could mean a major loss of a poultry producer. This condition also makes poultry susceptible to clostridial bacterial infections and other severe diseases.

Ionophores are derived from naturally-occurring bacteria. This is why they are different from the rest of antimicrobials, despite the different mode of action. However, they also lose their effectiveness if used for prolonged periods.

To read more about ionophores, you may visit The Poultry Site and Poultry Health Today. If you want to read the NCBI study, click here.

With the latest innovations in this field that focus on product health and safety, more companies have decided to invest heavily in poultry. This will provide more people with jobs in this field for years to come, since the demand for it is great as well.

In search of bigger opportunities in this field? Follow #ContinentalSearch on Facebook and LinkedIn. Continental Search’s poultry job listing gives people in this industry a wide range of job openings to choose from. If you are interested in any of the positions we have available, please send me an email.

Trish Valenzuela, CPC • Recruiter

Poultry Technical Support Manager Job

Trish Valenzuela specializes in recruiting for poultry feed additive companies.  She has filled positions in technical support, sales and sales management across the USA.

Trish joined Continental Search in July 2015 and through hard study she passed two certification programs. She is now a Certified Personnel Consultant and a Professional Recruiting Consultant.

Send her your resume at or call her at (302) 248-8242.  Visit her LinkedIn profile to connect with her and stay updated with current poultry trends. Trish can be reached at (302) 248-8242, through LinkedIn or