The pan-industry alliance Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture(RUMA), have released targets to further reduce antibiotic use in the agriculture industry,as reported by fwi.co.uk.
The targets have been released in the same week it was revealed that antibiotic use on livestock had fallen by a huge 27%, the lowest total since the records first began 24 years ago. The published targets include the reduction of antibiotic use on pigs in excess of 60% by 2020, this tied with a minimum use of critically important antibiotics(CIAs).
In pigs the numbers have been good thus far, with antibiotic use decreasing by 35% from 2015 to 2016. The news was welcomed by Mark White, Pig Veterinary Society President, who said he was pleased such a significant milestone was reached in just one year. .
“It’s encouraging to see the response in the sector to the challenge laid down, which bodes well for achieving our ambitious 2020 goal,” he said.
Mr White named the next progressive steps as eliminating routine preventative treatment where it still occurs.
“We can also work to improve water delivery systems so that more targeted treatment in the water can be used instead of in-feed medication.”, he said.
Cattle and Sheep:
The dairy cattle sector have already committed to a 20% reduction in antibiotic use by 2020, while also intending to more than half the use of CIAs. They will try to obtain these targets with the use of dry cow therapy as well as reducing the use of injections. Foot baths and other group treatments will also be reduced, with topical and targeted treatments used instead.
In the beef and sheep sectors, the numbers have already begun to decrease. They did admit to needing better data and committed to addressing this issue. They both vowed to further reduce antibiotic use by 10% by 2020, though this will be reliant on securing better data.
The beef sector hope to secure reductions in calves and youngstock, especially those suffering from respiratory disease. An extra emphasis will also be placed on dairy calves.
The sheep sector, like the dairy, will look to reduce the use of routine preventative treatments against illnesses such as lameness, neonatal lamb disease and miscarriages.
Poultry meat features on the list, with laying hen and fish, for having already reduced medication use since 2012. They will all continue to maintain these levels of decreases. The poultry meat sector has been dubbed the “Pathfinder”, for leading the way in reductions.They reduced us by a whopping 71% in the four-year period between 2012 and 2016.