Rabobank: Livestock antibiotics minimums proved sustainable in Netherlands

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UTRECHT, The Netherlands — Rabobank recently published information about moving toward a sustainable minimum for livestock antibiotics. According to the Dutch company, farmers in the Netherlands have reduced antibiotics in livestock farming without negatively impacting overall economic and technical farm performance. The details were displayed in its report titled, “Breaking the habit: Antibiotic Reduction in Livestock Farming.”

“In mainstream animal protein production, a sustainable minimum for antibiotics usage is the carefully formulated answer to a complex equation of preventing antimicrobial resistance, maintaining efficiency in production, improving animal welfare, and satisfying consumer demand,” said Karen Heuvelmans, industry analyst of farm inputs at Rabobank.

It was also reported that Dutch livestock saw a 64 percent reduction in antibiotic use in 2016 after implementing these policies.

Rabobank also said this development “counters the risk of antimicrobial resistance, which is a key driver for policy makers and industry players around the world to reduce the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics.”

One of the critical factors Rabobank pointed to was the Netherlands setting up a government task force that worked with the livestock sector to determine the appropriate goals and actions to reduce antibiotics.

The full report is available here.

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