In the years 2007-2010 the total sales of antibiotics decreased by 23%. Sample data about the antibiotic use in specific animal species in the Netherlands also indicate a substantial decrease in antibiotic use in four out of five animal production sectors examined in 2010.
Sales data reveal that the total amount of antibiotics sold by the pharmaceutical industry (FIDIN members) in the Netherlands for therapeutic veterinary use, has increased by 83% in the period 1999-2007. In the last three years the antibiotic sales in the Dutch animal production decreased by 23%, to a total of 455 tonnes in 2010. This downward trend of veterinary antibiotic sales is in line with the policy objective of 20% reduction in 2011, compared with 2009.
The figures on exposure to antibiotics in the sample surveys reveal the following tendencies for the years 2005-2010, indicating a substantial decrease in antibiotic use in most animal production sectors in the Netherlands in 2010:
- sow/piglet farms: annual variation, decrease in 2010;
- fattening pig farms: decrease in 2009 and 2010;
- broiler farms: increased usage from 2005 to 2009, decrease in 2010;
- veal calf farms: decreased usage from 2007 to 2010;
- dairy farms: decrease in 2009, increase in 2010.
Sows and piglets
In 2010, the average animal on sow/piglet production farms in this survey received approximately 19 daily dosages per year whereas in 2009 the use was 25 daily dosages per year. 83% of the antibiotics were orally administered, probably predominantly in piglets. In 2010 50% of the total antibiotic use in sows/piglets consisted of tetracyclines, 14% of trimethoprim/sulfonamides and another 19% of penicillins. 0.6% of the total usage consisted of 3 rd and 4th generation cephalosporins and 0.2% consisted of fluoroquinolones, which are likely to have been administered to young piglets before weaning.
For sows/piglets in the sample the average use in 2010 was 19 daily dosages per year. However, in practice almost all of the antibiotics are likely used for the treatment of the piglets, and only incidentally for the sows. If it is assumed that 100% of the antibiotics are administered to the piglets, with an average weight of 12.5 kg, this would mean that an average piglet is treated with antibiotics during 19 days in the period from birth to the age of 74 days (at delivering to the fattening farm, at 25 kg).
The average fattening pig in the sample received 11 daily dosages per year in 2010, of which 95% orally administered. In 2009 the average use was 16 daily dosages per year. In 2010 66% of the total antibiotic use in fattening pigs originated from the administration of tetracyclines and 18% from macrolides/lincosamides. Cephalosporins and (fluoro)quinolones were not applied.
The average fattening pig in the sample was treated with antibiotics 11 days per year. Assuming a production period of 117 days, 4 daily dosages (= 11 x (117/365) are administered to each fattening pig during its production period from 25 kg to slaughter weight. This average fattening pig has also received antibiotics at the breeding farm (during 19 days), which brings the total exposure to antibiotics per average fattening pig to approximately 23 days during its whole life from birth to slaughter at the average age of 191 days. If it is assumed that the average treatment weight of fattening pigs will be 30% lower than their average live weight, since younger animals are more likely to receive antibiotics than older animals, the estimation of the total life time true exposure increases from 23 days to a total of 25 days. Compared to 2009 this is a decrease of 22%.
October 2011/ LEI/ MARAN/ Netherlands.