It is with great pleasure that the Netherlands Veterinary Medicines Institute (SDa) presents its report Usage of Antibiotics in Agricultural Livestock in the Netherlands in 2021. In this publication, the SDa expert panel reports on the amounts of antibiotics used in the Dutch goat, turkey, veal, broiler, layer, rabbit, cattle and pig farming sectors in 2021.
Overall antibiotic use declined or remained stable; the amount sold declined
In 2021, overall antibiotic use in the broiler, rabbit and pig farming sectors declined by 31.7%, 17.2% and 13.7%, respectively. The broiler farming sector and pig farming sector both recorded the lowest overall DDDANAT value in their monitoring history. Ever since 2014, overall antibiotic use in the dairy cattle farming sector has been low and stable. The veal farming sector’s overall antibiotic use in 2021 was similar to its 2020 level. Overall amounts of antibiotics used in smaller livestock sectors such as the turkey and rabbit farming sectors have declined over time but show pronounced year-to-year fluctuations.
Persistently high usage levels
Livestock farms with persistently high usage levels is a concept introduced by the SDa in 2020. Livestock farms with persistently high usage levels are farms whose DDDAF values have exceeded their action threshold set by the SDa in 2019 for two consecutive years. In 2021, most livestock sectors had a slightly smaller proportion of farms with persistently high usage levels than the year before. Livestock sectors and veterinarians have agreed to combine forces in an effort to further reduce the amounts of antibiotics used at farms with persistently high usage levels. After all, these farms are at higher risk for development of antibiotic resistance and could subsequently contribute to the spread of resistant bacteria.
This year’s report and cover letter have been combined in a single document, with the letter by the SDa board preceding the actual SDa report Usage of Antibiotics in Agricultural Livestock in the Netherlands in 2021. As usual, the appendix to the report is available online.