Use of strongest antibiotics on the rise on European Farms

Photo credit: Jess Johnson Photo credit: Jess Johnson

Overuse of antibiotics in conventional livestock production has led to the proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacterial creating what has been dubbed a human health crisis. While many European countries impose voluntary bans on the use of antibiotics for livestock production, a recently released report from the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption conducted by the European Medicines Agency has found that the use of the antibiotics considered critical to human health are increasingly being administered to livestock. The report found that overall antibiotic sales for use in livestock fell by 2% in 2014. However, sales of new antibiotics designed to treat life-threatening illnesses in humans for administration to livestock remained steady or sometimes rose suggesting that current regulations are not effectively curbing agricultural use of our most important antibiotics.