Sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals drops by 27% - DEFRA report

Farmer With Vet Examining Calf. Picture: MONKEY BUSINESS IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

Farmer With Vet Examining Calf. Picture: MONKEY BUSINESS IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Getty Images/Monkey Business

Sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals have fallen by 27%, exceeding a government target to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance (AMR), figures show.

A Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) report shows sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals dropped from 62 mg/kg in 2014 to 45mg/kg in 2016, beating a government target of 50 mg/kg set following recommendations in the 2016 O’Neill Review on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Estimates suggest antibiotic resistance could be responsible for ten million deaths a year by 2050. In 2013 the UK government launched a strategy to reduce its spread in animals and humans.

Rural affairs and biosecurity minister 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,” he said.