The policy objective of a 20% reduction in the use of antibiotics in the years 2009-2011 in the Netherlands has been achieved with flying colours. This is the conclusion drawn from new figures relating to the veterinary use of antibiotics published by LEI Wageningen UR.
One of the benefits of the considerable decline in the veterinary use of antibiotics is the favourable implications for public health as the risk of the development of resistance is then smaller.
In the pig and broiler sector, the use of antibiotics has declined considerably. On the basis of the random sample, the decrease in use within the veal calf sector in 2009-2011 was a little under 20%, but a decrease had already been achieved in this area before 2009. In the dairy farming sector, the use of antibiotics has remained fairly stable and at a relatively low level.
More than 50% of all the randomly selected farms have antibiotics use below the targets set for 2011 by the Animal Drug Authority (Autoriteit Diergeneesmiddelen, SDa). Fewer than 10% of the farms have usage levels above the signalling value and/or action value.
In the period from 2009 to the end of 2011, total sales of antibiotics in Dutch livestock farming dropped by almost 32%, from 495 tonnes in 2009 to 338 tonnes in 2011. In comparison with 2007, when sales were at there highest level, the decrease is 40%. This is demonstrated by the sales figures provided by FIDIN, the Dutch federation of the veterinary pharmaceutical industry.
Source: LEI Wageningen UR