What's New ? - 2020

What's New ? - 2020

Responsible use of antibiotics in UK farming- 2019

20 November, 2020

The RUMA 2020 report highlights the tremendous achievements and progress that have been made across the UK livestock sectors since the original targets were set at the end of 2017. In the UK, antibiotic use in food producing animals has halved since 2014 and over the same period the use of Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-CIAs) for human health has reduced by 75%, and sales of colistin are virtually nil. This has been achieved primarily through voluntary activities with, for example, support from industry bodies, codes of practice and farm assurance schemes.
Overall sales (mg/kg) in the UK in 2019 were 31mg/kg, some 50% lower than in 2014. The laying hen sector used 4.8 tonnes of antibiotic active ingredient in 2019. This represents 0.683 daily doses/100 days (or % bird days treated), and is a very slight increase on the figure reported for 2018 (an increase of 0.129 daily doses/100 days). When analysed by active ingredient class, tetracycline and pleuromutilins account for 78% of the use and there were no HP-CIAs used. Reductions were seen in pleuromutilins and penicillins this year, balanced by slight increases in other active ingredients, particularly tetracyclines.
In 2019, the poultry meat sector was again able to deliver well within its responsible antibiotic use targets of 25 mg/kg for broilers and 50 mg/kg for turkeys, achieving 17.5 mg/kg and 42 mg/kg respectively. Use in ducks remained low at 1.7 mg/kg. The 19.7 tonnes of antibiotics used in 2019 represents an overall reduction of 76% since 2012. Use of fluoroquinolones was subject to clinical governance measures where any producer requiring the use of fluroquinolones to treat a flock of birds reported the case in detail to the British Poultry Council - where and why the product was used, the number of birds treated, the clinical outcome of the treatment and the veterinary health plan to avoid having to use the product in further bird placements. As a result, fluoroquinolone use has fallen by 97% since 2012, which means the risk of cross resistance developing to ciprofloxacin, an important last-resort antibiotic in humans, is being minimised.