Subtherapeutic Antibiotics and U.S. Broiler Production
We use data from a recent national survey to analyze the use of subtherapeutic antibiotics (STAs) among producers of broilers. STAs are included in feed or water and are intended to prevent disease or promote growth. Producers who do not use STAs instead rely on a set of other practices, including pathogen testing, expanded sanitary protocols, altered feeding regimens, and HACCP plans, to maintain production. We find that producers who do not use STAs realize levels of production that are slightly lower, given other inputs, than STA users, but the differences are not statistically significant. STA users realize lower payments per pound than those who are not users. The 4 percent difference, which is statistically significant, suggests that STA users have lower costs.
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