What's new ? - 2017

What's new ? - 2017

Use of antimicrobial agents in Danish animals

6 October, 2017

The overall use of antimicrobials for animals decreased in 2016, for the third consecutive year, by approximately 5% compared with 2015. The decrease was mainly driven by the use of antimicrobials for pigs, which was 4% less than the year before. Following on from two years with several serious disease outbreaks, the poultry production (excl. turkeys) sharply reduced antimicrobial use in 2016, returning to the same levels as before the disease outbreaks.
The use of critically important antimicrobials in food production animals remained low.
The use of colistin for pigs increased by further 40 kg in 2016. The use of colistin in production animals is of concern, since it has becoming increasingly important as a last resort antimicrobial in human medicine. The increase in colistin use for pigs has likely been caused by a shift from other antimicrobial agents.
In Denmark, poultry production comprises mainly broiler production, followed by egg layers and turkey production. In addition there is a small production of ducks, geese and game birds. Danish broiler farms have a very high level of biosecurity and the antimicrobial consumption in broiler production is generally low compared with other species. Accordingly, a few disease outbreaks in some farms can markedly affect and cause considerable fluctuations in the national statistics on antimicrobial usage. This was the case in late 2014 and throughout 2015, where the broiler industry experienced several large disease outbreaks, and the use of antimicrobials in the population increased significantly during this period. However, the problems were resolved during 2015 and in 2016 use of antimicrobials for poultry (excl. turkeys) decreased sharply to 1,560 active compound, a decrease of 36% compared with 2015. For broilers, amoxicillin has been the most commonly used antimicrobial agent for more than a decade. However, in 2016 tetracycline was the most commonly used antimicrobial.