News last update:6 Aug 2012

Antibiotic use in feeds, the Dutch way

The Dutch Ministry of Economics, agriculture and Innovation supports a proposal to take extra measures in decreasing resistance to antibiotics in Dutch livestock.

Earlier this month deputy Minister Bleker in a letter to the House announced additional measures to achieve the planned reductions in antibiotic use in livestock farming.
Compared to 2009 the aim is to achieve a reduction of 20% in 2011 and 50% in 2013. Also controls on use of antibiotics will be increased.
In an earlier release the Dutch compound feed organisation Nevedi and farmers union LTO said that manufacturing of medicated feed will be ceased from 2011.
Data as base
Pivotal to the approach is the central recording of the use of veterinary medicines by both veterinarians and farmers in the Central Veterinarian Database Vetcis. In addition, the independent regulator SDA (Foundation Veterinary Authority) starts at 1/1/2011.
The SDA will be monitoring the use of veterinary medicines and develop stricter standards. Furthermore also a number of statutory requirements regarding the use of veterinary medicines will be strengthened and enforcement will be focused on these.
Among others the following issues will be spearheaded:
  • The imposition of administrative fines for violations (regulated in the forthcoming Animal Act);
  • Limiting the use of 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporines and fluorchinolones (these are of major importance to human medicine);
  • Limiting of the cascade ruling (using a drug intended for a specific species in another species) for choosing medicines by veterinarians;
  • Prohibition of preventative use of antibiotics in animals flocks;
  • Enforcement of the 2.5% cross contamination limit (on the basis of the lowest allowed therapeutic dose) for antibiotics in medicated feeds to non-targeted feeds in the following production batch and based on the report of the food authority (VWA);
  • Strict enforcement on the advertising ban in agriculture business magazines.
Ending medicated feed production
Earlier this year Nevedi and LTO announced that they were to stop manufacturing of medicated feeds by 2011. This decision will be anchored in the GMP+ system and other quality systems.
The aim of both organisations is actually stop producing medicated feeds from 1 April 2011 at the latest.
Antibiotics currently used in these feeds are also available as top dressing, in liquid form or as individual doses.
On a European level production of medicated feed will still be allowed, even after the forthcoming revision of the ‘old’ Directive 90/167/EU.

Dick Ziggers

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