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THE letter from Cóilín Nunan and Richard Young (VR, November 7, 2015, vol 177, pp 468-470) about the use of antibiotics in people and animals raises a number of points that I would like to address.
Reference is made to the joint ECDC/EFSA/EMA report published in January 2015, which showed that the total antibiotic consumption in food animals in 26 EU/EEA member states by weight of active ingredient was greater than that in humans (Anon 2015a). It must be recognised that there are many more individual animals in a country than there are individual humans and many of these animals weigh considerably more than the average person. The report makes clear the respective biomass for humans and animals which are stated as 28,884,000 tonnes for humans and 55,421,000 tonnes for animals, respectively. This important …