An Eye on Antimicrobial Sales in the UK

UK - A new report released by the Veterinary Medicine Directorate, reveals sales figures for veterinary antimicrobial products in the UK.
calendar icon 22 August 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The report states that the total sales of veterinary therapeutic antimicrobials in the UK remained relatively steady between 1998 and 2003 at around 434 tonnes per annum.

During 2004 total sales of antimicrobials for therapeutic use in all animals increased by 20 tonnes to 454 tonnes, but decreased by 8 tonnes in 2005 to 446 tonnes, decreased by a further 41 tonnes in 2006 to 405 tonnes, and again fell by 18 tonnes in 2007 to 387 tonnes.

The sales of veterinary therapeutic antiprotozoals in 2007 were 14 tonnes, the same as in 2006. Sales of these products are exclusively for food-producing animals. The sales of veterinary antifungals were 3.1 tonnes in 2007 less than in previous years.

There were no sales of veterinary antimicrobial growth promoters in 2006 following the EU ban on their use or sale from 1 January 2006.

Sales of coccidiostats in 2007 were 166 tonnes, a decrease of 37 tonnes from 2006. Coccidiostats are used in food-producing animals only, particularly poultry reared on deep litter systems.

Food-Producing Animals

In 2007 sales of antimicrobial products for therapeutic use in food-producing animals accounted for approximately 87% (335 tonnes) of the total annual sales of 387 tonnes which was comparable with previous years. However it is not possible to identify the proportion of the 335 tonnes which was administered to animals that did not enter the food chain (for example, cattle barred from use in food via the Older Cattle Disposal Scheme).

Approximately half of the total sales of therapeutic antimicrobials were accounted for by tetracyclines in each year from 2002 to 2007. In each of the ten reporting years between 1 and 2 tonnes of fluoroquinolones were sold (less than 1% of the total). Between 53% and 82% of therapeutic antimicrobial products for food-producing animals only were sold for use as medicated feedingstuffs, over the reporting period (2002– 2007), most of which are sold for use in pig and poultry farming.

Overall the sales of therapeutic antimicrobial products for use in food-producing animals showed a decrease in 2007, from the 2006 sales. There was a decrease in sales of therapeutic antimicrobials in 2007 for some of the individual food-producing species e.g. for pigs and poultry only (decreased by 20 tonnes a.i.). A decrease in sales was seen for cattle only (1 tonne a.i.) and pigs only (3 tonnes a.i.). Sales of multi-species products (excluding pig and poultry only) remained constant from 2002 to 2007.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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