UK - Sales of antibiotics for use in animals in the UK are at a four-year low, putting the UK on track to meet ambitious targets to tackle antibiotic resistance, according to a Defra report released this World Antibiotic Awareness week.
The report shows overall sales by weight dropped by 9 per cent from 2014 to 2015, while sales for use in food-producing animals dropped 10 per cent from 62 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) to 56mg/kg. This continues a ten-year downward trend and puts the UK on track to reach its 50mg/kg target by 2018.
As well as the overall reduction, the report shows a drop in sales of the highest priority antibiotics that are critically important for humans. Sales of these made up just over 1 per cent of all antibiotics sold for use in animals in 2015.
Defra Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, Lord Gardiner, welcomed the report’s findings, saying: "Antibiotic resistance is the biggest threat to modern medicine and we must act now to help keep antibiotics effective for future generations. This report shows the hard work of our vets and farmers is already making a real impact.
"Our farmers and vets are setting an excellent example for others around the world to follow, upholding the UK’s position at the forefront of international efforts to tackle AMR."
The poultry sector has made significant progress on antibiotic use in recent years, and the British Poultry Council (BPC) welcomed the improvements.
BPC Chairman, John Reed, said: “We have made a good start but we are on a continuing journey. The use of antibiotics, even critically important antibiotics as a last resort, to safeguard bird health is vital to the sector.”
TheSheepSite News Desk