Record low for sales of antibiotics for use in animals

A Defra report has been released showing sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals has dropped by 27%, from 62mg/kg in 2014 to 45mg/kg in 2016, surpassing a government target of 50mg/kg.

In 2013 the UK government launched a strategy to reduce the development and spread of antibiotic resistance in animals and humans. As part of the strategy the government has provided expert advice to the farming industry and veterinary profession, encouraging more responsible use of antibiotics to safeguard them for the future.

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to modern medicine with estimates suggesting it could be responsible for ten million deaths per year by 2050 and cost the global economy $100 trillion.

Defra Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, Lord Gardiner, welcomed the report’s findings:
‘Our farmers and vets must be commended for setting an excellent example for others around the world to follow, upholding the UK’s position at the forefront of international efforts to keep antibiotics available for future generations.

‘The UK is at the forefront of global effects to tackle antibiotic resistance. The fact we have overtaken our target two years ahead of schedule demonstrates our commitment to preventing the inappropriate use of antibiotics and shows our approach is working.’