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Photo: DAFC

Denmark’s antibiotics consumption remains lower than all other major producers

The new figures for antibiotic consumption in the EU have just been published in the ESVAC report (The European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption). Denmark’s total antibiotic consumption fell from 44.1 mg/PCU in 2014 to 42.2 mg/PCU in 2015, corresponding to a fall of 4.3 per cent.


European perspective
Overall, antibiotic consumption in the 25 participating European countries fell by 12.7 per cent over the period. Average consumption for the participating EU and European Economic Area countries remains signficantly higher than Denmark. Where Danish agriculture used 42.2 mg/PCU in 2017, average consumption for the participating countries was 135.5 mg/PCU.

The low level in Denmark is in part due to the fact that veterinarians who prescribe antibiotics are not permitted to sell them. Denmark also operates a comprehensive monitoring system known as the Yellow Card for individual farms. Farms that use particularly high levels of antibiotics are placed under surveillance.

Crucial antibiotics for human medicine
Denmark also performed well with regard to the types of antibiotics that the World Health Organisation has designated as critically important for human medicine and which should be limited, i.e. fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins in pig production. With consumption of only 0.01 mg/CPU, Denmark’s use of fluoroquinolones is far below the European average. Cephalosporins are primarily used as 3rd and 4th generation cephalosorins in Denmark, i.e. mainly for cats and dogs. Overall consumption in Denmark is 0.4 mg/PCU.