Restrictions on antimicrobial use in food animal production

An international regulatory and economic survey

Dina F. Maron, Tyler J S Smith, Keeve Nachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The administration of antimicrobial drugs to food animals at low doses for extended durations for growth promotion and disease prevention has been linked to the global health crisis of antimicrobial resistance. Internationally, multiple jurisdictions have responded by restricting antimicrobial use for these purposes, and by requiring a veterinary prescription to use these drugs in food animals. Opponents of these policies have argued that restrictions have been detrimental to food animal production where they have been adopted.Methods: We surveyed the antimicrobial use policies of 17 political jurisdictions outside of the United States with respect to growth promotion, disease prevention, and veterinary oversight, and reviewed the available evidence regarding their production impacts, including measures of animal health. Jurisdictions were included if they were a top-five importer of a major U.S. food animal product in 2011, as differences between the policies of the U.S. and other jurisdictions may lead to trade barriers to U.S. food animal product exports. Jurisdictions were also included if information on their policies was publicly available in English. We searched the peer-reviewed and grey literatures and corresponded with jurisdictions' U.S. embassies, regulators, and local experts.Results: Jurisdictions were categorized by whether they prohibit use of antimicrobials for growth promotion and/or use of antimicrobials without a veterinary prescription. Of the 17 jurisdictions surveyed, six jurisdictions have prohibited both types of use, five jurisdictions have prohibited one use but not the other use, and five jurisdictions have not prohibited either use, while information was not available for one jurisdiction. Data on the production impacts of these prohibitions were limited, although available data, especially from Denmark and Sweden, suggest that restrictions on growth promotion use can be implemented with minimal production consequences.Conclusions: A majority of leading U.S. trade partners have more stringent policies regarding antibiotic use and veterinary oversight in food animal production. Available data suggest that restrictions on growth promotion may not be detrimental to production in the long run, although additional research could be useful. There is evidence that discordance between the U.S. and other jurisdictions with respect to antimicrobial use in food animals may be detrimental to U.S. access to export markets for food animal products. The available economic evidence strengthens the rationale for restricting antimicrobial use in U.S. food animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number48
JournalGlobalization and Health
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2013

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Economics
Food
Growth
Prescriptions
Surveys and Questionnaires
Literature
Denmark
Sweden
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Haemophilus influenzae type b-polysaccharide vaccine-diphtheria toxoid conjugate
Health
Research

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Antibiotic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Bacteria
  • Drug resistance
  • Food animal
  • Trade
  • Veterinarian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Restrictions on antimicrobial use in food animal production : An international regulatory and economic survey. / Maron, Dina F.; Smith, Tyler J S; Nachman, Keeve.

In: Globalization and Health, Vol. 9, No. 1, 48, 16.10.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: The administration of antimicrobial drugs to food animals at low doses for extended durations for growth promotion and disease prevention has been linked to the global health crisis of antimicrobial resistance. Internationally, multiple jurisdictions have responded by restricting antimicrobial use for these purposes, and by requiring a veterinary prescription to use these drugs in food animals. Opponents of these policies have argued that restrictions have been detrimental to food animal production where they have been adopted.Methods: We surveyed the antimicrobial use policies of 17 political jurisdictions outside of the United States with respect to growth promotion, disease prevention, and veterinary oversight, and reviewed the available evidence regarding their production impacts, including measures of animal health. Jurisdictions were included if they were a top-five importer of a major U.S. food animal product in 2011, as differences between the policies of the U.S. and other jurisdictions may lead to trade barriers to U.S. food animal product exports. Jurisdictions were also included if information on their policies was publicly available in English. We searched the peer-reviewed and grey literatures and corresponded with jurisdictions' U.S. embassies, regulators, and local experts.Results: Jurisdictions were categorized by whether they prohibit use of antimicrobials for growth promotion and/or use of antimicrobials without a veterinary prescription. Of the 17 jurisdictions surveyed, six jurisdictions have prohibited both types of use, five jurisdictions have prohibited one use but not the other use, and five jurisdictions have not prohibited either use, while information was not available for one jurisdiction. Data on the production impacts of these prohibitions were limited, although available data, especially from Denmark and Sweden, suggest that restrictions on growth promotion use can be implemented with minimal production consequences.Conclusions: A majority of leading U.S. trade partners have more stringent policies regarding antibiotic use and veterinary oversight in food animal production. Available data suggest that restrictions on growth promotion may not be detrimental to production in the long run, although additional research could be useful. There is evidence that discordance between the U.S. and other jurisdictions with respect to antimicrobial use in food animals may be detrimental to U.S. access to export markets for food animal products. The available economic evidence strengthens the rationale for restricting antimicrobial use in U.S. food animals.",
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KW - Antibiotic

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KW - Bacteria

KW - Drug resistance

KW - Food animal

KW - Trade

KW - Veterinarian

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