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Livestock industry set to hit 2020 antibiotics targets

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By Josh Loeb

A dramatic fall in use of antibiotics on UK farms has prompted admiration from around the world, according to the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA).

The alliance last week released its latest half-yearly summary showing progress made by different livestock sectors and declared itself quietly confident that sectoral targets set for 2020 would all be met.

At the end of 2017, RUMA set targets for reducing, refining and replacing antibiotic use across eight different livestock sectors as part of its Target Task Force.

Comparing information from RUMA’s progress report with Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Sales Surveillance (VARSS) data indicates that the largest percentage reductions in antibiotic usage have so far been made by the pig and poultry sectors.

Antibiotic usage in the poultry meat sector fell by 82 per cent between 2012 and 2017 and is already below the 2020 target of 25mg/PCU (population correction unit) for the chicken sector and 50mg/PCU for the …

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