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on August 24, 2016

EU Commission praises Danish pig antibiotics limits

Danish pig producers reduced antibiotic usage by more than a fifth since 2009.

An EU Commission report highlighted measures that the Danish pig meat industry and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) have taken to limit antibiotic usage for pigs. The Commission concludes that various measures “could serve as an illustration of potential good practices to other Member States.”

“Danish agriculture has reduced antibiotic usage in pig production by more than a fifth since 2009, which means that Denmark is right at the bottom of the countries we normally compare ourselves with,” said Per Henriksen, DVFA veterinary director, in a press release.

Praise for the Danish yellow card

The Commission highlighted several Danish measures designed to encourage a more prudent use of antibiotics for both livestock and pets, including the Yellow Card scheme where farmers are issued with a warning if they use too many antibiotics. The Danish regulations for group treatment and the action plan for livestock-associated MRSA were also singled out for praise.

Between 2009 and 2015 antibiotic usage for pigs in Denmark was reduced by around 22 percent, and the Danish parliament has agreed a plan to reduce antibiotic usage by a further 15 percent between 2015 and 2018.

Danish antibiotics controls continue to be refined and the latest development to the Yellow Card scheme, effective from July 2016 sets new threshold levels for antibiotic usage for pigs and incorporates a more targeted focus on usage of those antibiotics that are deemed to be important in human medicine.

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