Sales of veterinary antibiotics have halved over the past four years

Sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals have reduced by 53% in just four years between 2014-2018, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate has revealed.

The reduction demonstrates the strong and committed approach taken by the UK’s food, farming and veterinary sectors to tackle AMR. The figure comes from the annual Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance Sales and Surveillance (UK-VARSS) report. It builds on reductions previously published by past VARSS reports.

Christine Middlemiss, The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, said: “A 53% reduction in sales of antibiotics for food-producing animals in just four years is a testament to the improvements industry and the veterinary profession have made in antibiotic stewardship, training and disease control.

“This is a great example of how real change can be achieved when Government and industry work together including through initiatives such as the Targets Task Force chaired by RUMA (Responsible Use Of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance).

“The focus on infection prevention and control is key to reducing the need to treat with antibiotics and maintaining the UK’s world-leading standards in protecting animal health and biosecurity.”

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