Animal production

Monitoring antibiotic consumption

Due to the need to control the use of antibiotics in animal production, in 2009. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) inaugurated a programme to monitor the marketing of veterinary medicines. Poland joined it in 2011 and annually submits updated information to the EMA on the sum of sales of these medicines in our country.

However, these data do not show the level of antibiotic consumption during the production cycle of animals in a specific breeding or rearing farm, or the average consumption for a given species. In Poland, there are as yet no legislative or practical solutions in this area. However, the Polish Association of Sustainable Agriculture “ASAP” offers such a solution. This is a programme for monitoring antibiotic consumption on farms, developed by one of the Association’s members, OSI Food Solutions Polska. It was developed for farmers keeping cattle regardless of the age of the animals being slaughtered and consists of recording the antibiotics used in therapy. The following form is used for this purpose:

Checklist for antibiotic consumption:

Date (treatment period)Category of cattle (cow, bull, heifer, calf)Antibiotic (name of preparation)Quantity or dosage for the entire treatment periodDiagnosis (name of disease)Withdrawal periodWas an antibiogram performed YES/NO
 … … … … … … …

The data recorded by the farmer allow a qualitative and quantitative estimation of antibiotic consumption on the farm, as well as tracking the dynamics of its use over a defined period of time. They also make it possible to compare this consumption with averages from other growers with a similar production profile and with the average data obtained from all growers participating in the programme. Through such monitoring, the farmer gains the possibility to analyse the periods of disease risk of the different age categories of cattle and to assess the effectiveness of antibiotic use in the different age categories of animals. This tool is useful as a guide for therapeutic recommendations in the future, as well as a basis for creating an effective antibiotic reduction strategy for the breeder.