Drop in Use of Antibiotics in Danish Farming

DENMARK - The use of antibiotics in Danish farming has fallen by 11 per cent since 2009.
calendar icon 21 January 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

The reduction is shown by data from October 2013. In this way, Danish farmers have reached the policy objective to reduce the use of antibiotics by 10 per cent compared to the level in 2009.

“Denmark is a pioneer in working with antibiotic reduction. Other countries envy us the results we have achieved in co-operation with farmers, veterinarians and public authorities,” said Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dan Jørgensen.

The reduction means the risk of developing further antimicrobial resistance has been reduced. Mr Jørgensen is very pleased with the results and expresses the ambition to maintain the low incidence of antimicrobial resistance in the years to come.

“A limited use of antibiotics is very important in order to ensure that doctors can prescribe the best treatment when we and our children become ill. And we know that antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem in the world around us,” said Mr Jørgensen.

Success of Fellow-card Scheme

Reduced use of antibiotics has been registered since the introduction of the so-called yellow card scheme. The scheme is combined with surveillance of the use of antibiotics. When a farmer exceeds a certain limit, he or she will get an injunction to lower the use of antibiotics. If the farmer does not succeed, he or she gets extraordinary veterinarian assistance and inspection. Ultimately, the number of animals that the farmer may hold legally will be reduced.

“Our joint effort has resulted in Danish foodstuffs having a unique international reputation. This creates food safety and consumer confidence and easy access to foreign markets,” said Mr Jørgensen.

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