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Antibiotic usage in Dutch pigs dropped by 1.9% in 2017

Antibiotics usage in the Netherlands’ pig industry has dropped further. In 2017, the country’s swine sector reduced its use by 1.9%.

The Netherlands have been one of the countries on the forefront of antibiotic reduction, and there is an active policy to get the numbers down.

In the Netherlands, total usage of antibiotics for pigs has been decreasing for years. Photo: Bert Jansen
In the Netherlands, total usage of antibiotics for pigs has been decreasing for years. Photo: Bert Jansen

Pig Progress’ Dutch-language sister title Boerderij reported that in most other sectors, also a decrease could be noted, especially in the turkey business (23.7%), broiler sector (7.8%), and calf production (3.6%).

Defined daily doses for pigs

In the Netherlands, the usage is measured on the basis of ‘defined daily dose animal’. In that context, the usage has dropped. Nevertheless, in absolute terms of sales, 2017 saw an increase by 3% to 181,097kg of active compounds. According to the Netherlands Veterinary Medicines Institute (SDa) is most likely due to a rise in usage by non-monitored species, e.g. pets, horses and goats, as well as due to stock building.

Read more about pig health in the Pig Progress Health Tool

All in all, in comparison to the reference year 2009, the antibiotics usage has come down by 63.4%. This is lower than the authorities’ intentions to reach 70%.

Stricter benchmarks per sector

To further reduce antibiotic usage, the SDa will announce the introduction of strict benchmark values per sector. For sows and finisher pigs, this will be at 5 defined daily dose animal. For piglets, a transitional benchmark will be announced.

Read slso in the UK recently good reduction figures were reported on pig farms.

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