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Antibiotic Use in Food Animals Decreased in 2018

The Food & Drug Administration released its annual report on antimicrobial use in food-producing animals. And the results are good!

In 2017, the domestic sale and distribution of medically-important antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals decreased by 33 percent! This is the second straight year in which antibiotic use for food animals has decreased.

If you’re keeping track, that’s a 43 percent decrease since 2015 (the peak year)! These numbers are awesome!

We saw a similar trend in 2016; antibiotic sales for animals decreased by 10%. I predicted that we would see even larger reductions in 2017. Why? Because the FDA’s Veterinary Feed Directive went into full effect. It requires veterinary approval for treating or preventing diseases with antibiotics. And antibiotic use to promote animal growth was phased out.

I’ll make another bold prediction: the number will continue to decrease each year. How do I know? Because farmers care about fighting antibiotic resistance, too. And as we figure out new ways to prevent disease and sickness in our animals, we’ll be able to reduce our use of antibiotics.

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