Home 5 Ag Stories Antibiotic use in livestock drops for first time since 2009

Antibiotic use in livestock drops for first time since 2009

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

For the first time since 2009, antibiotic usage in livestock dropped. Sales of medically important antimicrobials for livestock and poultry fell ten percent in 2016. The Food and Drug Administration began keeping records on antibiotic use in livestock animals in 2009.

The decline happened ahead of new antibiotic usage requirements which became law in January. Since the first of the year, veterinarians must give permission to farmers to use antibiotics for livestock. The drugs can no longer be sold for growth promotion.

Tetracyclines made up 70 percent of all medically-important antibiotics sold last year, but their usage dropped by 15 percent from the previous year. Opponents of on-farm antibiotic use look at this as a win.

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