Background 2 commentsupdate:Jun 14, 2016

Do we know what we are doing?

Reducing antibiotic use is at the top of many people’s agenda, not only because of growing concerns that bacteria will become increasingly resistant to almost any antibiotic ever discovered, but also because both humans and animals will need to rely on the possibility of treatment in the future.


Reduction is a worthwhile endeavour, yet reduction per se is not the way forward. When disease issues arise, treatment has to be possible to prevent a severe negative impact on animal welfare and economics.

Keeping antibiotics effective for both man and animals

Very recently Jim O'Neill delivered the report 'Tackling Drug Resistant Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations'. It is a global landmark in the fight to keep antibiotics effective for both animals and people. That is the core issue, because veterinarians need antibiotics as one of the tools to treat conditions and the animals under their care and to support the high standards of animal welfare that our society has come to expect.

Using antibiotics comes at a price

But administering antibiotics comes at a price or at least it should. Their use should be as restrictive and as targeted as possible. Antibiotic use should also be registered and monitored. Do we know why and where antibiotics are currently being used? Only when we know the facts can resources target areas where change is most needed to reduce any unnecessary use. This is an industry obligation. It is up to regulatory bodies to decide if and which antibiotics should be restricted to human use only.


  • Santiago Garcia

    Abuse in the use of antibiotics has led to the development of bacterial resistance. I consider abuse in antibiotic use as: 1) Growth promoting agents in animal feeds; 2) Administration of antibiotics on "preventive dose" on a routine or continuing basis; 3) Inclusion of non- therapeutic amounts of antibiotics in vitamin preparations ( usually administered on a continuous basis; 4) Administration of the wrong antibiotic for the treatment a specific disease condition; and 5) Use of the same antibiotic as a "cure all" for every flock cycle.
    Antibiotics could still be used in the poultry and livestock industries provided they are administered only when a specific disease is diagnosed in an animal and on a recommended therapeutic dose of the recommended antibiotic as much as possible for the individual morbid animals when morbidity in the flock is less than 15% for small flocks ( 1000 or less) and 3%or less for flocks more than 1000 birds. It would be best to pen the morbid birds within the same house area. In practice, I have withdrawn all antibiotics from feeds for farms in which I had been engaged since 1992. Properly supervised poultry farm management, sanitation, and bio-security will preclude the use of antibiotics and save a lot of money.

  • Olapade David

    please i need assistance with my research which is Abuse of antibiotics in pullet production.
    thanks in anticipation...

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