JAVMA News logo

July 15, 2021

OIE data suggest decline in on-farm antimicrobial use

Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old

Data from 69 countries show a substantial two-year decline in the volumes of antimicrobials administered to farm animals.

A report (PDF) published this spring by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) indicates the volumes of antimicrobials administered to food-producing animals, measured in milligrams per kilogram of body weight, declined one-third from 2015 to 2017. An announcement from the organization states that the change suggests “a positive trend over time in more prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials in the animal health sector.”

The announcement also notes that the OIE has seen an overall rise in the number of governments participating in the international report and a rising number of governments providing quantitative data on drug administration, as measured through drug sales. The announcement and report, the fifth OIE Annual Report on Antimicrobial Agents Intended for Use in Animals, provide only regional averages and ranges of use within those regions rather than data that could show which countries had decreases or increases in antimicrobial administration.

But the regional data do provide some information useful in showing how some countries skew the regional and global averages.

For all 102 countries that submitted quantitative data for 2017, the antimicrobial administration volume was about 108 mg/kg. For the 100 countries with validated data, the region of Asia, the Far East, and Oceania had the highest administration volume, at 192 mg/kg, or more than 2.5 times that of the next-highest region, the Americas, at 72 mg/kg. The median administration volume for countries in Asia, the Far East, and Oceania was 75 mg/kg, however, and the standard deviation was 168 mg/kg.

The report also indicates farms in only a minority of countries administer antimicrobials for growth promotion.