Graphic: Landbrug & Fødevarer

Graphic: Landbrug & Fødevarer

Antibiotics: reducing consumption

For many years, Denmark has been committed to reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock production. In fact, Denmark is one of the countries in the world whose antibiotic consumption in pig production is among the lowest. In 2018, antibiotic consumption at Danish pig farms fell by 4 per cent compared to the previous year.

Antibiotics are used to treat sick pigs and therefore contribute to a high standard of animal welfare. The reason is that no animal should suffer and if a pig is sick, it should be treated with antibiotics.

In Denmark, animals may only be treated when they are sick and antibiotics may only be prescribed by a veterinarian and only for the diseases and livestock specified by the veterinarian.

In Denmark, the use of antibiotics is closely monitored by the VETSTAT database. Statistics from this show that the use of antibiotics for pigs has declined significantly over the past 20 years – even though the production of pigs has increased.

Read also: Antibiotics: Danish pig production as international role model

25 years of committed effort
25 years of committed efforts largely on the part of pig producers have produced strong results. In 2018, total antibiotic consumption declined by 4 per cent compared to the previous year, and this is the fifth successive year of reporting declines. This is due to a combination of legislation, scrupulous controls and broad support among pig producers.

The timeline below gives an overview of all the initiatives that have been implemented in the antibiotic area in the Danish pig industry since 1970.

Read more about the SPF system 

Picture: Landbrug & Fødevarer

Graphic: Landbrug & Fødevarer

Get the timeline as PDF here

Jan Dahl

Chief consultant and veterinary

+45 33 394 406