News reached Britain, and was published this morning, via the United States, that the Dutch are reducing antibiotic use in livestock.
Vion is, of course, an important supplier to the British market.
This is obviously a significant development with repercussions across the world - not least in the sleazy information backwater that is British veterinary practice and science
The Dutch, with the Danes and others, have recognised the problem and are doing something about it. The British don't even know how much antibiotics are used in British pigs.
It's a big government (Defra) secret. They are too frightened to tell us. They are right. There will have to be explanations for their extraordinary conduct over the past decade.
Antibiotic Use in Dutch Meat Industry to be Halved by 2013
December 1, 2010 -
The Dutch industry intends to put new measures in place that will help it meet a target of cutting antibiotic use in meat production by a half, according to a report by VION, the Dutch meat giant.
A report from the Livestock Antibiotic Resistance Steering Group was presented to State Secretary Henk Bleker of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation last week that describes how to reduce antibiotic use by 20 percent from 2009 to 2011. By 2013, usage would be cut by 50 percent.
In April this year the previous Minister of Agriculture, Gerda Verburg, asked the steering committee chaired by Senator Jos Werner (CDA) to submit proposals on addressing the issue of antibiotic resistance in humans as a result of the widespread use of antibiotics in meat production.
The Livestock Antibiotic Resistance Task Force was set up in 2008. All parties involved in livestock production were present. The four major animal industries (pigs, cattle, veal calves and poultry) reached a voluntary agreement in which a large number of measures were identified to resolve the issue of antibiotic resistance.
The latest report presents additional measures to ensure the transparency of antibiotic use including a role for the FoundatioVeterinary Authority (SDA), which should help monitor responsible and safe use of antibiotics. Veterinarians and farmers would be required to register antibiotics that they use with a central database.
By John Strak on 11/30/2010