According to the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database (FARAD), “The FDA considers all chickens to be food animals regardless of an owner’s attachment to a particular bird. Accordingly, all regulations pertaining to the treatment of food animals, including the use of prohibited substances, should be followed when treating backyard chickens.” Unfortunately, the FDA and many veterinary professionals see no difference between a chicken living at a sanctuary or as a An animal who spends regular time with humans in their home and life. Typically cats and dogs are considered companion animals, though many species of animals could also be companion animals. and a chicken living within the confines of the The human production and use of animals in order to produce animal products, typically for profit. system who is destined for Exploitation is characterized by the abuse of a position of physical, psychological, emotional, social, or economic vulnerability to obtain agreement from someone (e.g., humans and nonhuman animals) or something (e.g, land and water) that is unable to reasonably refuse an offer or demand. It is also characterized by excessive self gain at the expense of something or someone else’s labor, well-being, and/or existence..
This label is not only frustrating to see applied to the individuals we advocate for, but it also limits the treatment options legally available to many species of farmed animals in the United States. There are effective antibiotics, such as Baytril, that were once regularly used at sanctuaries but are no longer permitted for use in chickens. Another popular drug that is affected by FDA regulations is the Suprelorin F implant, which we will discuss later in this course. You may find a veterinarian who is willing to prescribe drugs which are prohibited, but they are taking a risk, and more likely you will be working with a veterinarian who follows the FDA rules and regulations.