Antibiotic Use Declines in Danish Livestock Production - LivestockTrend

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Sunday, 28 October 2018

Antibiotic Use Declines in Danish Livestock Production

by Kayode Oladipo

Penalties for exceeding the official limits of antibiotic use have reportedly spurred a steady decline in the use of antibiotics in livestock production in Denmark.

Brigitte Borck HΓΈg, a specialist advisor at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has cited this reduction in antibiotic use as important. He explained that as antibiotics are used as a last resort in treating humans, they also should be used in veterinary care only if all other means fail.

The Danish Programme for surveillance of antimicrobial consumption and resistance in bacteria from animals, food and humans (DANMAP), reported a 14% annual decline in antibiotic usage between 2013 and 2017, this approximates to about 16t worth of antibiotics.

The reduction was encountered mainly in pig production which accounts for over 85% of Denmark’s meat production, with antibiotic doses pegged down by over 4% in 2017 compared to the previous year.

Recent statistics taken by the European Union (EU) show that the drug consumption in Denmark’s livestock farming in 2016, at 40.8 mg/kg PCU was less than one-third of the corresponding average of the entire EU which was 124.6 mg/kg PCU*.

The Danish Association of Agriculture and Food’s Yellow Card programme which penalizes offenders who exceed antibiotic limits has been identified by Jan Dahl, veterinarian and chief consultant in the Danish Association of Agriculture and Food as a major cause of the decline in antibiotic use in livestock production.

*PCU, Population Control Unit is a unit of measurement developed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to monitor antibiotic use and sales across Europe.

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