Nearly 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are given
to food animals, mainly for growth promotion.
unchecked, antibiotic use in food animal production will rise 53 percent
globally between 2013 and 2030.
‘Inappropriate use of drugs in animals is a leading cause of antimicrobial resistance. This can be used by limiting fast food intake, imposing fee on price of veterinary antibiotics and regulation of antibiotic use.’
"This scale up in antibiotics, primarily as a substitute for good
nutrition and hygiene in livestock production, is simply unsustainable and will
be devastating to efforts to conserve the effectiveness of our current
antibiotics. We already face a crisis, but continuing to use medically
important antibiotics for growth promotion in animals is like pouring oil on a
fire," said the study's senior author and CDDEP Director Ramanan
Three Ways To Reduce Antibiotics Use For Animals
In the Science
study, researchers estimated
the global impact of three interventions on reducing antibiotic use in animals.
Together, these interventions could reduce animal consumption of antibiotics worldwide
by up to 80 percent.
Antibiotic Use Projected To Increase by 2030
- Regulations capping the use of antibiotics in farm animals
could achieve a 64 percent reduction in consumption.
- Limiting meat intake to the equivalent of one fast-food burger
per person per day globally, could reduce antibiotic consumption in animals by
- Imposing a 50 percent user fee on the price of veterinary
antibiotics could reduce consumption by 31 percent while generating revenues of
US $ 1.7 billion to $4.6 billion per year, which could be used to spur drug
Globally, more than 131,000 tons of antibiotics were used in animals in
2013, the researchers found. By 2030, projected consumption will increase to
more than 200,000 tons. The current top five users of antibiotics in food
production, by country, are China, United States, Brazil, India, Spain. The
projected intake of antibiotics may increase between 6 to 82% by 2030.
Even in many countries where current use of antibiotics for food
production is relatively low, researchers predict that consumption will explode
over the next dozen years. For example, in Uganda, which used 199 tons of
antibiotics for food animals in 2013, consumption is projected to double by
2030. And consumption is projected to increase 215 percent in Vietnam, which
used 515 tons of antibiotics for food production in 2013.
In 2016, the meeting on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at the United
Nations General Assembly recognized the inappropriate use of these
drugs in animals as a leading cause of rising AMR
"We face a critical choice
if we are to have antibiotics that work. We can restrict our meat consumption
to a recommended daily intake, or adopt state-of-art livestock practices
globally to reduce antibiotic consumption," study author Thomas Van
Boeckel noted. "We cannot have both without putting the health of future
populations at risk."