What's new ? - 2018

What's new ? - 2018

UK: Antibiotic use in UK livestock

21 November, 2018

Twelve months after industry-led targets for antibiotic use were identified for all main farm livestock species in the UK, a review of progress has been released, including details of where targets have been achieved early and where challenges remain.
• UK sales of antibiotics for food-producing animals have fallen 40% since 2013; overall use in 2017 was 37mg/kg, one of the lowest in the EU. 
• Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotic (HP-CIA) sales fell 52% between 2013 and 2017 from an already low level, and 29% between 2016 and 2017: just 7kg of colistin was sold for veterinary use last year. 
• Only 30% of the UK’s antibiotics are now estimated to be used to treat disease in farm animals. Over a billion farm animals are reared and managed in the UK every year. 
Laying hen sector: The collection of antibiotic usage data for the UK laying hen sector is organised by the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC). Producers requirement to share these data with BEIC is obligatory through the Lion Scheme, which represents over 90% of the UK egg industry. All egg producers, pullet rearers and breeding companies are required to report any use of an antibiotic to their subscriber. This is reported to the BEIC on a quarterly basis and denominator data are available from monthly records of the total number of birds in the scheme, averaged over the year. The data is published as ‘daily doses/100 chicken days at risk’ represents the average number of doses administered per chicken over a 100 day period and is based on the actual number of doses administered, which is provided directly to BEIC. 
The BEIC reports that the usage data presented for 2017 show that members of the BEIC Lion Code, which represent over 90% of the industry, have managed to reduce use from an already low base, and have met the sector target for percentage bird days treated to remain below 1% (The target is: Total bird/days medicated remains below 1%). The data indicate that the laying hen sector used 2.16 tonnes of antibiotic active ingredient, a reduction of 0.45 tonnes (17%) from 2016. This represents 0.57 daily doses/100 days (or % bird days treated), a reduction of 22% from 2016. Colistin and 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins cannot be used under the BEIC Lion Code. In addition, fluoroquinolones cannot be used in day old chicks, and any other use can only be where it has been confirmed that no other medication is appropriate in order to maintain bird welfare.
When analysed by active ingredient class, tetracycline and pleuromutilins (tiamulin) account for 84% of the use.
Poultry meat sector: British Poultry Council (BPC) members, who represent 90% of UK poultry meat production, openly communicate their actions and share best practice in a precompetitive way. In 2017, the UK poultry meat sector’s antibiotic use was under the target set for both chickens (25 mg/kg) and turkeys (50 mg/kg), and comprised 9.72% of the total antibiotics licensed for use in food producing animals, as compared to 21% in 2012.
The sector was within this target, using 9.85 mg/kg in 2017.

Antibiotics used in chickens (Source: BPC 2018)

Antibiotics used in turkeys (Source: BPC 2018)