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Global trends in antimicrobial use in food-producing animals

T. P. Van Boeckel, C. Brower, M. Gilbert, B. T. Grenfell and others

GLOBAL demand for animal protein for human consumption is increasing at a rapid and unprecedented rate. To meet this demand, some countries are moving towards intensive livestock production systems in which antimicrobials are used to maintain animal health and improve growth and productivity. This study aimed to assess the extent of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals worldwide and to predict trends between 2010 and 2030.

A statistical model was created which combined information on global livestock production and estimated antimicrobial consumption. Data on intensive cattle, pig and chicken production in 228 countries was collated. Most countries do not collect or do not make public information on veterinary antimicrobial consumption, so data on antimicrobial consumption in food animals were collected from government agencies, scientific reports and personal communications to estimate the amounts used per animal in intensive livestock production systems.

The model indicated that 63,151 tons of antimicrobials were used in food-producing animals in 2010. This figure was predicted to rise by 67 per cent to 105,596 tons by 2030. …

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