Antibiotic use in the Dutch agriculture sector has declined sharply in recent years, exceeding the objectives set by the government.
The total sales of antibiotics in the Netherlands dropped nearly 32%, from 495 tonnes to 338 tonnes during the period 2009-2011, according to new data relating to the veterinary use of antibiotics published by LEI Wageningen UR.
This far exceeds the policy objective for 2011 set by the Dutch government, which was set at a 20% reduction in antibiotic use compared with 2009. Survey data on antibiotic use per animal species indicate a decrease in all five livestock sectors examined in 2011.
The average use in broilers is estimated to be 16 daily dosages per year in 2011, administered orally, mainly through the drinking water (95% Confidence Interval: 12-21 dd/ay). This means that an individual broiler is treated with antibiotics during 2 days (= 16 x 42/365) in the 42 days from day one to slaughter. In 2009 the use was 37 daily dosages per year (CI: 24-49 dd/ay).
Data on the time of prescription reveal that the average weight on which broilers receive treatment equals the average live weight of 1.0 kg.