Sales of antibiotics for use in animals in the UK are at a four-year low, according to a new Defra report released today.
The UK Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance (VARSS) report, which is published annually by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), shows overall sales by weight dropped by 9% between 2014 and 2015, while sales for use in food-producing animals dropped 10% 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 also shows a drop in sales of the highest priority antibiotics that are critically important for humans. Sales of these made up just over 1% of all antibiotics sold for use in animals in 2015.
“The UK is making good progress in the fight against AMR and it is particularly encouraging to see how engaged and committed the industry is to this cause,” said the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens (pictured above).
“Those who work with animals have a key role to play in the global fight against antibiotic resistance to monitor use and reduce it wherever we can. Clearly, we must not ease up in our efforts, but it is great to see that we are on track.”