NPA welcomes further evidence of antibiotic reductions

The NPA has welcomed new figures highlighting further evidence of a reduction in antibiotic use in Europe and the UK.

The latest figures published in the European Surveillance Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) report show sales of antibiotics for use in animals in Europe fell by more than 32% between 2011 and 2017, with further reductions recorded in the UK.

Overall sales of antibiotics for food producing animals fell from 162.0 mg/PCU in 2011 to 109.3 mg/PCU in 2017 across the 25 member states which have contributed data since 2011. Importantly, there were reductions in some of the High Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-CIAs) – sales of 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins decreased by 20.9%, and fluoroquinolones decreased by 10.3%.

The data showed the UK now has the fifth lowest mg/PCU of the 31 European countries, reporting sales of 32.5 mg/PCU in 2017.

NPA senior policy advisor Rebecca Veale said: “This reflects the commitment made by those engaged in the targets set by each sector in 2017 to take a responsible approach to antibiotic use as part of the RUMA Targets Task Force, with the pig sector very much leading the way.

“Food production is very different in the countries with a lower figure than the UK (Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), making it impossible to draw comparisons.

“Sales for antibiotics have also decreased in many European countries which demonstrates the efforts being made across the continent. However, no other country has taken the sort of voluntary and collaborative approach to the responsible use of antibiotics that the UK has.”

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.