Animal production

Problems and risks associated with the use of antibiotics

Since antibiotics came into widespread use, their use in both medicine, veterinary medicine and industry has become massive over time. Their unjustified, excessive use in the treatment of diseases and their addition to feed to increase the economic efficiency of animal production has led to the dangerous phenomenon in medicine of antibiotic resistance.

As a result, the therapeutic efficacy of medicines, and thus the maintenance of public health, is becoming increasingly difficult. With the uncontrolled supply of antibiotics, particularly in agriculture, the number of resistant bacteria continues to rise alarmingly, not least as a result of their spread and the transfer of the resistance gene to other strains. Meanwhile, there are no new antibiotics coming into medicine that could realistically solve the problem.

The only way to stop the phenomenon of bacterial resistance is to be rational in the therapeutic use of antibiotics and to abandon prophylactic group therapies in livestock farming. This is to be helped by legislation passed on 25 October 2018 by the European Parliament, which bans the prophylactic use of antibiotics in agriculture, except in situations of high risk of disease in individual animals or groups of animals. They will come into force in 2022.