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Animals: Antibiotics

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th January 2011.

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Photo of Jason McCartney Jason McCartney Conservative, Colne Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of antibiotics was administered to (a) domestic and (b) farmed animals in relation to the amount administered to the human population in the last 12 months.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The most recent data comparing the use of antimicrobials in human and veterinary medicine are from 2007. The report "Overview of Antimicrobial Usage and Bacterial Resistance in Selected Human and Animal Pathogens in the UK: 2007", published in March 2010, shows that in 2007 in the UK:

335 tonnes of antimicrobial active ingredient were sold for animals reared for food;

34 tonnes were sold for use in domestic animals; and

19 tonnes were sold in veterinary medicines authorised for both farmed and domestic animals.

For human use in the same period:

73 tonnes were prescribed in hospitals in England and Wales (no data were available for Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2007);

337 tonnes were prescribed in the community in England, Wales and Northern Ireland during 2007; and

41 tonnes were prescribed in the community in Scotland between April 2007 and March 2008.

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