What's New ? - 2019

What's New ? - 2019

UK-VARSS: veterinary antibiotic sales data in the UK from 2014 to 2018

31 October, 2019

Sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals have reduced by 53% in just four years between 2014-2018. Sales of highest priority critically important antibiotics (HP-CIAs) dropped by a further 0.4 tonnes (18%) from an already low level in 2017; a drop of 3.1 tonnes (66%) since 2014. Overall, tetracyclines remain the most sold antibiotic class (38%), followed by beta-lactams (27%) and trimethoprim/sulphonamides (10%). Sales of HP-CIAs in all animal species represent a small proportion (0.7%) of the overall antibiotic sales. 
In 2018, the British Poultry Council (BPC) reported the use of 16.2 tonnes of active ingredient in meat poultry; a 1.8 tonne (12%) increase from 2017, although usage has decreased by 47.3 tonnes (75%) since 2014. When considering the size of the animal population, between 2017 and 2018 usage in the chicken sector increased by 2.5 mg/kg (26%), usage in the turkey sector increased by 1.5 mg/kg (3%) and usage in the duck sector decreased by 1.5 mg/kg (47%). Since 2014, the chicken sector has reduced antibiotic usage by 36.4 mg/kg (75%), the turkey sector has reduced by 172.8 mg/kg (78%) and the duck sector has reduced by 13.4 mg/kg (88%).
In 2018, 79% of active ingredient classes used comprised penicillins and tetracyclines. However, between 2017 and 2018, penicillin use increased by 2.0 tonnes (25%) whereas tetracycline use decreased by 0.8 tonnes (24%). This reduction in tetracyclines is part of an on-going trend since 2015.
Colistin and 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins were once again not used by the meat poultry sectors in 2018. Fluoroquinolones were not used by the duck sector and only used in very small quantities by the broiler sector (325 g active ingredient). Between 2017 and 2018, the turkey sector reduced the use of fluoroquinolones by 0.18 mg/kg (46%) to 0.2 mg/kg, which is a reduction of 7.3 mg/kg (97%) since 2014. Overall, the poultry meat sector used 0.016 mg/kg HP-CIAs in 2018, a 49% drop between 2017 and 2018 and a 99% drop since 2014.

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