The World Organisation for Animal Health has reported that global sales of antibiotics for veterinary use have decreased by one-third since 2011, with some major livestock-producing countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom, cutting sales by over 50%.
By focusing on disease prevention, good nutrition, and establishing a clear animal health management plan with a veterinarian, the need for antibiotics can be reduced. The FDA supports the judicious and appropriate use of antimicrobials in sick animals, which veterinarians are best positioned to manage.
While only antibiotics can effectively treat bacterial infections, there are many feed additives that can be used in combination to support animal health and therefore reduce the need for antibiotics use. As the margins for error in antibiotic-free production are significantly reduced, animal nutrition companies need to work together with livestock and poultry suppliers to develop improved feed products that improve animal health without the use of antibiotics.