History of the use of antibiotic as growth promoters in European poultry feeds

Poult Sci. 2007 Nov;86(11):2466-71. doi: 10.3382/ps.2007-00249.


Use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feeds has been permitted in the member states of the European Union during the last 50 yr. However, concerns about development of antimicrobial resistance and about transference of antibiotic resistance genes from animal to human microbiota, led to withdraw approval for antibiotics as growth promoters in the European Union since January 1, 2006. This report analyzes the history of European legislation regarding the use of antibiotics in poultry feeds, since the first harmonization by Directive 70/524 until Regulation 1831/2003 deleted these substances from the European Register of additives permitted in feeds. The European support to recommendations of the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Organization for Animal Health for a ban on antimicrobial use in animal feeds is expected to favor other countries also phase these substances out.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / history*
  • Animal Husbandry / history*
  • Animal Husbandry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / history*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Europe
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Poultry / growth & development*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents