Friday, 03 November 2023 07:55

Antibiotics sales drop

Written by  Staff Reporters
Sales of veterinary and horticultural antibiotics in New Zealand have decreased for a fifth year in a row. Sales of veterinary and horticultural antibiotics in New Zealand have decreased for a fifth year in a row.

Total sales of veterinary and horticultural antibiotics in New Zealand have decreased for a fifth year in a row, dropping by 23% in 2022.

The drop was a key finding of the ‘2022 Antibiotic Agricultural Compound Sales Analysis’ released last week by New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS). The report summarises the trends in the annual sales of veterinary and horticultural antibiotics as part of a national action plan to reduce antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

“The World Health Organisation has identified AMR as one of the top 10 global health threats facing humanity, so seeing a 23% drop in the sale of antibiotics for plants and animals is good news,” says NZFS deputy director- general Vincent Arbuckle.

“Antibiotics are antimicrobial medicines essential to the health of humans, animals, and plants, but using them excessively can lead to the emergence of resistant bacteria that don’t respond to antibiotic treatment.

“With AMR increasing around the world, and few new antibiotics being developed, careful use of the antibiotics we have will help to keep them effective.”

Of the 16 classes of antibiotics NZFS monitors, five are critically important for human health, meaning they should be considered the last line of defence in animal infections.

“We found that the total sales of antibiotics critical for human health decreased by 8% in 2022 to 6285kg. This is the lowest they’ve been since 2017, when 8952kg of antibiotics critically important to human health were sold,” says Arbuckle.

“Overall, the sale of antibiotics has dropped from 71,361kg in 2017 to 41,033kg in 2022. That’s a drop of 42%.

“The ongoing decrease in the use of antibiotics can be put down to a concerted effort from industry and NZFS to ensure these important medicines are used appropriately.

“The continued vigilance of veterinarians, farmers and other industry stakeholders, as well as our ongoing monitoring and support, are an effective way to minimise the incidence of AMR.

“We are also reviewing our regulatory oversight of antibiotics used in plants and animals, which could lead to a further reduction in antibiotic use as controls for some antibiotics might be tightened. This extensive piece of work has a five-year timeframe as it involves reviewing hundreds of antibiotic products.”

In 2017, the New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan was jointly developed by the Ministry of Health, New Zealand Food Safety and representatives from across the human health, animal health and agriculture sectors.

Its vision is for New Zealand to manage antimicrobials as a valuable shared resource and to maintain their efficacy so they can be used to treat infections in humans, as well as to manage diseases in animals and plants. An update to the action plan is due to be released next year.

More like this

Frontline biosecurity 'untouchable'

Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard has reiterated that 'frontline' biosecurity services within Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will not be cut under the Government's plan to reduce the public service.

Farmers fined for cattle abuse

A Waikato cattle farming family have been fined $23,000 for failing to provide sufficient food and care for their animals, resulting in more than half a dozen animal deaths.

App trial yields promising results

An initial trial of an app, funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, has demonstrated significant results in reducing drench inputs during a small-scale study.

Levy approval sought

A series of apple and pear grower meetings are being held around the country.

More!

OPINION: As this old mutt suggested in the last issue, MPI looks a very good candidate for some serious public sector savings that the government is currently looking for.

Featured

Frontline biosecurity 'untouchable'

Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard has reiterated that 'frontline' biosecurity services within Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will not be cut under the Government's plan to reduce the public service.

Migrant farmer 'lets the side down'

An appalling case of migrant worker exploitation on a Southland farm isn't acceptable, says Federated Farmers dairy chair Richard McIntyre.

Milk price certainty

Westland Milk has reaffirmed its commitment to pay farmer suppliers 10c above Fonterra farm gate milk price for the following two seasons.

National

Share farmers with big plans

With only about eight weeks to go before their cows are dried off, the 2024 Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards Share…

Team effort brings results

For the team at Westmorland Estate Limited in Waikato, it has been another year of everyone working together to achieve…

Machinery & Products

New name, new ideas

KGM New Zealand, is part of the London headquartered Inchcape Group, who increased its NZ presence in August 2023 with…

All-terrain fert spreading mode

Effluent specialists the Samson Group have developed a new double unloading system to help optimise uphill and downhill organic fertiliser…

Can-Am showcases range

Based on industry data collected by the Motor Industry Association, Can-Am is the number one side-by-side manufacturer in New Zealand.

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

'Not our fault!'

OPINION: Milking It wasn’t too surprised to hear Kiwis’ trust in media has sunk to a new low.

Avian flu in cows

A lethal form of avian influenza has been confirmed in US dairy cattle in Texas and Kansas, the US Department…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter