Use of antibiotics remains high in livestock farming

Use of antibiotics remains high in livestock farming

Five years ago, a new pharmaceutical law came into force in Germany. It aimed at reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock farming. The Süddeutsche Zeitung (German) and the NDR (German) have now received an internal report from the German Ministry of Agriculture. This report reveals that there has hardly been a reduction in the use of antibiotics.

The law stipulates that farmers with a minimum number of mast animals must report the use of antibiotics every six months. If the amount of antibiotics used is above average, the authorities can oblige farmers to take countermeasures.

The report shows that only in pork fattening the reduction in antibiotics was more than 40%. On the other hand, there have been no changes in poultry or calf fattening. In addition, the Green Party, for example, criticise the use of reserve antibiotics in poultry fattening. Furthermore, the WHO classifies these pharmaceuticals as particularly important for humans. This is because they are often the last medicines to be used in cases of illness. If these pharmaceuticals are used too often and in large quantities, consequently resistances can develop which can also spread to humans. (More informations on this topic on this blog post to the latest program of the WHO)

At last, the data also show that the use of antibiotics is significantly higher in particularly large farms than in small and medium-sized ones. However, the Ministry of Agriculture states that it is working on further minimising the use of antibiotics. Under these circumstances, both a new regulation of reserve antibiotics and the closing of legal loopholes should be included.

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