The use of antibiotics in intensive livestock farming went down in 2009 compared to the previous year, but remained higher than in 2007, LEI figures reveal.
This reduction is far too small to make it feasible to meet the Dutch government's target of reducing antibiotics use by 50 percent by 2011, admit agricultural organization LTO and veterinary organization KNMVD. Yet the latter still expects a reduction of 50 percent next year to be doable. The front-runners among the livestock farmers use 90 per cent fewer antibiotics than the average, says director Martin Scholten of the Animal Sciences Group in this month's Wageningen World. The livestock sector should focus on the best livestock farmers and not on the stragglers, thinks Scholten. 'If the standard set by the front-runners becomes the norm, antibiotics use will go down by a factor of ten.'