Reducing UK Antibiotic Use in Animals

Antibiotics are widely used to treat infectious disease in animals and humans. A recent government review of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) recommended reducing antibiotic use in agriculture. This POSTnote discusses the current use of antibiotics in animals and the options available for reducing that use.

Key points in the POSTnote iclude:

  • Concerns over the spread of AMR have seen moves to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics in both animals and humans
  • Antibiotic use in agriculture varies from sector (pigs, poultry, dairy etc.) to another and depends on the prevalence of endemic disease
  • The use of antibiotics in agriculture has sginificantly┬ádeclined in recent years, but further reductions will be needed to meet targets for 2020
  • Approaches to reducing antibiotic use in animals include better animal husbandry, improved housing, better herd/flock management, vaccination and disease eradication
  • Enacting change involves managing the expectations that people who use vets (clients such as farmers or pet owners) have of being prescribed antibiotics when their animals are ill.

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Source: Parliament UK

Healthy Animals  
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