The administration of antibiotics to farm animals has been falling almost continuously in France for ten years, the health agency Anses reported on November 17, 2022, which aims to monitor the increased exposure of cats, dogs and horses to these molecules.
A sharp decline in farm animals
Since 2011, the starting point of the first “Ecoantibio” plan, exposure to antibiotics has decreased by 67.9% for chicken, 58.5% for pigs, 44.7% for rabbits and 23% for cattle. , indicates ANSES in a press kit. Most recently between 2020 and 2021, this exposure decreased by 0.9% for cattle, 7.2% for pigs, 8.6% for chicken and 12.7% for rabbits.
In pig farming, for example, the French leader Cooperl claimed to limit the use of antibiotics by eliminating castration, which is synonymous with wounds that are likely to become infected. It also choosestough animals“that evolved into buildings”as clean as possible“. In case of trouble,”alternative treatments” (antioxidants, thinners, analgesics) are administered as a priority.
Authorities are encouraging to reduce the use of antibiotics in humans and animals to prevent the development of bacteria resistant to treatment (antibiotic resistance).
In rabbits – the species most exposed to antibiotics – the 12.7% drop in one year follows several years of increases. To treat these animals, which are particularly susceptible to digestive pathologies, antibiotics are routinely administered preventively, a practice that has been banned since the beginning of 2022 at the European level.
“Plans to control the consumption of antibiotics have been put in place by breeders. Given the decline we observed (in 2021), we can assume that this practice is imminent.“In the rabbit industry, said Gilles Salvat, Deputy Director General of the Research Division of ANSES, in a presentation to the press.
The Rabbit Interprofession (Clipp) maintains that regulations are “strictly followed by breeders“.”Under no circumstances is it possible to prescribe and dispense antibiotics without establishing a diagnosis by a veterinarian“, he assured this week in a press release, after the broadcast on France 5 of a report reporting cases of regular use.
More medical pets
Unlike animals, antibiotic exposure has increased in cats, dogs and horses. “After a 19.5% decrease between 2011 and 2016, exposure levels of cats and dogs have increased in recent years“, to return to a level close to 2011, says ANSES.
A”better medicalization“This increase can be explained, promotes the director of the National Agency for Veterinary Medicine, Franck Fourès. In other words, pet owners take them to the vet more easily. This is “rather it is a good thing to have proper treatment of animals“, said Mr. Fourès. For horses, their exposure to antibiotics increased by 17.7% a year, possibly due to “aging horse population“, says Franck Fourès. A reason for vigilance for ANSES: “These are not animals that we eat“—or by the side of the horses—”but to which we are exposed every day. (…) This is something that should not be missed“, said Gilles Salvat.
Ecoantibio plan 1 (2012-2016) and 2 (2017-2022) are qualified as “hit“of the General Food Council (CGAAER) in a report published on Monday by the Ministry of Agriculture. An Ecoantibio 3 plan is planned. According to this document, “the reductions in the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine are so great that the margins of development still possible in the future are now shrinking in this sector“.
In breeding, practices need to evolve to hopefully further reduce the consumption of antibiotics”in the next ten years“, believes Gilles Salvat. The ANSES specialist mentions the selection of animals”somewhat more stable, slower growth“, who are less strict with their companions or even have access to the outside.