Reducing Antimicrobial Use in Food Animals

Reducing Antimicrobial Use in Food Animals

Consider user fees and regulatory caps on veterinary use

Science, 2017




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In a Science magazine article, an international team of experts proposes ways to reduce the use of subclinical doses of antimicrobial drugs (including antibiotics) in livestock, a practice stemming from the rising demand for animal protein. The practice is responsible for drug-resistant infections in both humans and animals. Proposed strategies for a response include better enforcement of global regulations, user fees on veterinary antimicrobial use and reduced meat consumption. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone concerned with the spread of drug resistant infections.


Subclinical [without clinical symptoms] antimicrobial drug use in livestock promotes antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

An international team of experts in health policy, veterinary medicine, agriculture and related fields has addressed the practice of treating farm animals with subclinical doses of antimicrobial drugs (including antibiotics and antifungals). The team notes that the practice has expanded in multiple countries in recent years, and goes on to explain that such an expansion spreads AMR. In 2016, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly highlighted livestock antimicrobial applications as a prime example of inappropriate antibiotic...

About the Author

Lead author Thomas P. Van Boeckel is an epidemiologist who has served as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Integrative Biology in Zürich, Switzerland, and more recently as a fellow at Princeton University in the United States. He works on the infectious diseases of animals and humans.

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