Nortura is looking to eliminate the use of narasin in its chicken by 2016

Nortura is looking to eliminate the use of narasin in its chicken by 2016

Norwegian meat processor Nortura is rolling out a project that aims to raise antibiotic-free chickens.

Nortura - in a combined effort with the National Veterinary Institute - said it was phasing out the use of narasin - an antibiotic which prevents bowel disease. Nortura is aiming for all chicken to be narasin-free by 2016.

Though Nortura already raises its Smaalenene Farm Chicken - a smaller-scale production - as narasin-free, these often have a higher antibiotic use as a result of increased bowel disease. The latest project aims to cut the use of replacement antibiotics.

Deputy CEO Egil Olsvik said it would be "an important breakthrough", if the firm succeeded in replacing the narasin vaccine in the majority of Norwegian chicken, without having to use more antibiotics.

Organic and antibiotic-free poultry and meat is becoming increasingly popular among consumers. Last month, Cargill announced the launch of an antibiotic-free turkey range. In September, US firm Perdue Foods said it would end antibiotic use in its hatcheries and in June this year Creekstone Farms announced the launch of a line of antibiotic, nitrate, MSG and gluten-free pork.