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Sales of antibiotics for farm animals in Europe have fallen again, signifying a reduction of over a third between 2011 and 2018.

Sales of antibiotics for farm animals in Europe have fallen again, signifying a reduction of over a third between 2011 and 2018.

he UK retained its position as having the fifth lowest sales overall – some 71% lower than the EU average in terms of mg/PCU, a standardised unit of animal biomass, according to the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption.

Cat McLaughlin, who chairs the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance, said it was good news that antibiotic use in European farm animals had fallen so significantly over the past seven years.

“It’s very positive to see this downward trend across almost all countries, not just in terms of total sales but also the highest priority antibiotics – third and fourth generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and colistin,” she said.

“Any use of an antibiotic has the potential to create resistance and as part of a One Health approach, we all have a duty to protect the efficacy of medical and veterinary antibiotics by reducing, refining or replacing use.”