The use of antibiotics in UK livestock is at its lowest level since 1993, based on the latest figures released by Defra’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
The Government has been working with the industry both UK farmers and vets to reduce antibiotic use in UK livestock used for food production due to antimicrobial resistance in humans, rendering antibiotics ineffective at curing infections.
Antibiotics are essential in livestock farming to treat infectious and zoonotic diseases like bacterial pneumonia and mastitis but overuse prevents them being effective anymore in animals and in humans, when those animals are entering the food chain.
According to the latest figures from defra (Department of Environment, & Rural Affairs) in the last 4 years UK farmers have reduced antibiotic use in UK livestock by around 40%
The drop in antibiotics in UK livestock is a phenomenal move in the right direction, with this years data also including usage in beef, salmon and trout as well as previous years data in poultry, pigs, Dairy and gamebirds.
These industry changes in antibiotic usage in UK livestock were initiated in 2013 by a new Government strategy to counteract the issue of antibiotic resistance in both humans and animals.
The UK livestock industry deserves praise
The UK’s chief veterinary officer praised praised the industry as a whole for achieving such a fantastic year on year improvement in this major and crucial issue that needed addressing.
This demonstrates that the UK livestock industry is practising good farm management, biosecurity and animal husbandry measures. To achieve a 40% drop in antibiotic use is incredibly encouraging and should help protect the effectiveness of crucial medicines in the future.
These results show advancement and ownership within the UK livestock industry from improved training, stewardship, stockmanship and disease control.
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