NL: Ban animal drug sales by vets

11-08-2009 | |
NL: Ban animal drug sales by vets

According to the Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Science (KNMvD), 20-50% of the income of Dutch veterinarian comes from selling animal medicines. Minster for Agriculture Verburg wants to investigate whether the sale of animal medicines (antibiotics) by veterinarians should be banned in the Netherlands.

Antibiotic resistance

According to Verburg, the high antibiotic use in the Dutch livestock sector may be linked back to the fact that vets earn a lot of money by selling the antibiotics. Verburg advocates minimising the use of (therapeutic) antibiotics in the livestock sector because it may result in antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans.

In-feed antibiotic ban

The ban on antibiotic growth promoters has led to a reduced use of antibiotics on farms. Antibiotics are now only used a therapeutic measure and can only be subscribed by a veterinarian. On average, a pig in the Netherlands receives 32 doses of antibiotics per year. Denmark supplies 9 dosses per pig per year. In the Netherlands, antibiotics are often given to a whole animal group, even when only one animal in that group is ill.

Farmer’s mentality

A ban on the sale of antibiotics by veterinarians is not the only measure to reduce the antibiotics use in the Dutch livestock sector. Also farmers need to change their mentality says the KNMvD.

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist