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Topic: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms (Read 412 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
This is utterly fucking retarded.

Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms

Quote
Use of some of the strongest antibiotics available to treat life-threatening infections has risen to record levels on European farms, new data shows.

The report reinforces concerns about the overuse of antibiotics on farms, following revelations from the Guardian of the presence of the superbug MRSA in UK-produced meat, in imported meat for sale in UK supermarkets, and on British farms.

According to the data from the European Medicines Agency, medicines classified as "critically important in human medicine" by the World Health Organisation appear to be in frequent use on farm animals across the major countries of the EU, including the UK. This comes in spite of WHO advice that, because of their importance, these drugs should be used only in the most extreme cases, if at all, in treating animals.

...

For instance, sales of fluoroquinolones - the newest versions of which are used to treat life-threatening illnesses including pneumonia and Legionnaire's disease - stood at 141 tonnes across the countries surveyed in 2013, and rose to 172 tonnes in 2014. Sales of macrolides, also classed as critically important to human health, rose from 59 to 67 tonnes in the same period. This shows that efforts to prevent the drugs most crucial for human health from being used in farming are failing.

...

Routine use of antibiotics on animals - which is frequently practised across the world as a method of promoting their growth - is supposed to be banned within the EU.
Truth is out of style

  • Monad
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #1
How are they getting away with it if it is banned?

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #2
There's a loophole. They aren't allowed to just use antibiotics whenever they feel like it. All use has to be prescribed by a vet, but it's legal to use whatever any vet prescribes. So, you just find a vet who will give you the answer you want. Easy.
Truth is out of style

  • Monad
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #3
OK so those vets need to be struck off for unethical practice for starters

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #4
Yep, and completely banning the use of last resort antibiotics on livestock would be the next step.
Truth is out of style

  • MikeS
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #5
The manufacturers should not sell to these customers; but profit ...  :mad:

  • Peez
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #6
How about we deny access to antibiotics for the farmers, vets, and manufacturers.

Peez

  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #7
How about we deny access to antibiotics for the farmers, vets, and manufacturers.

Peez
That might be a little overboard. Should be possible to set up a protocol to use those antibiotics, with a permit system. In order to prescribe the drugs, the Vet has to get the prescription vetted, to ship the antibiotics the manufacturer had to have a permit in hand for the shipment. Violations, after a 1st warning results in a ban on the vet prescribing those drugs and the manufacturer shipping them with penalties for following attempts, penalties that would significantly increase with additional violations, to the point where it becomes unprofitable and possibly including incarceration. The same would apply to farmers using the drugs.

Yes, I know, it's more bureaucracy but the EU loves this sort of thing and it's really necessary. This indiscriminate use of critical antibiotics threatens the lives of thousands if not tens of thousands. Normally that would be considered a form of mass murder or genocide. Perhaps the penalties should reflect that.
Are we there yet?

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #8
Well...

Quote
The latest report, published in October 2016, shows that sales of antibiotics for use in animals in Europe fell by 2.4% between 2011 and 2014, despite a considerable increase in a Member State which switched to an improved data collection system in 2014 and registered more sales. In 24 of those countries that provided data for this period, sales fell by 12%:

http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Report/2016/10/WC500214217.pdf

Quote
In total, 25 countries have provided data for all the years between 2011 to 2014. A fall in sales (in mg/PCU) of more than 5 % was observed in 10 of these countries, whilst there was an increase of more than 5 % in five countries during the reference period (Table 8 ). The PCU was stable across the years, with only a 0.9 % reduction in the total PCU of the 25 countries, and there was also an overall reduction of 2.9 % in the volume of tonnes sold.

For 25 countries reporting sales data to ESVAC for the years 2011-2014, an overall fall in sales (mg/PCU) of 2.4% was observed. The sales were 162 mg/PCU, 153 mg/PCU, 147 mg/PCU and 158 mg/PCU in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively (Figure 56).

Spain changed its system for collecting sales data in 2014, and there were indications that some of the highest selling VMPs for 2014 had not been reported by MAHs between 2011-2013, despite being marketed during this period. Therefore, the suggestion is that the sales data for Spain for 2011 to 2013 represent substantial underestimates. The consumption of antimicrobials in Spain is one of the highest among the European countries participating in ESVAC; sales aggregated by the 25 countries, e.g. 2011 and 2014, are thus not directly comparable.

By excluding Spain, an overall fall in sales (mg/PCU) of 12 % from 2011 to 2014 (from 138 mg/PCU in 2011 to 121  mg/PCU in 2014) was observed in the remaining 24 countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom).

Some things to consider:
Quote
For example, the dose for a whole treatment (DCDvet) with an oral fluoroquinolone VMP may be 10-40 mg/kg between  cattle, pigs and poultry, while with an oral tetracycline VMP this may vary between 110 and 280 mg/kg. This implies that a given weight of active ingredient of fluoroquinolone sold can be used to treat several times as many animals as the same weight of active ingredient of a tetracycline. Furthermore, within an antimicrobial class there may be different dosages for different substances; for example, the dosage of doxycycline is about one-quarter of the dosage of oxytetracycline. Another consideration is that the treatment dosage may differ significantly according to species; for fish, a typical tetracycline dosage for the whole treatment is 800 mg/kg, or some six times higher than that for terrestrial animals. The data in this report cover all food-producing animals together, and therefore it was not possible to take into account differences in dosing when reporting the data. Since the sales patterns and the animal demographics vary substantially between countries, comparison of the sales data across the countries should be done with great care.

Quote
The PCU was stable over the years; only a 0.9 % reduction of PCU was observed for the 25 countries, while the reduction in tonnes sold was 2.9 %. In 25 countries reporting sales data to ESVAC for the years 2011-2014, there was an overall decrease in the sales (mg/PCU) of 2.4 %. The sales were 162 mg/PCU, 153 mg/PCU, 147 mg/PCU and 158 mg/PCU in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively (Figure 56).

However, Spain changed its system for collecting data in 2014 data, when it was identified that for certain MAHs, sales of some VMPs identified as high-selling (tonnes) VMPs in 2014 had not been reported for some MAHs for the previous years (2011-2013), although they were marketed during these years. Therefore, the suggestion is that the sales data for Spain for 2011 to 2013 represent substantial underestimates. The consumption of antimicrobials in Spain is one of the highest among the European countries participating in the ESVAC; sales aggregated by the 25 countries for 2011 and 2014, for example, are therefore not directly comparable.

By excluding Spain, a 12 % fall in the sales (mg/PCU) was observed between 2011 (138 mg/PCU) and 2014 (121 mg/PCU) in the remaining 24 countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom).

The sales (mg/PCU) of 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins in 25 countries, that provided data for the years 2011-2014, remained stable during this period, while an increase of 18% was observed for the fluoroquinolones (Figure 56.). The sales (mg/PCU) of polymyxins (mostly colistin) in these 25 countries decreased by 9 %.

From 2011 to 2014, a drop of more than 5 % (range 8 % to 40 %) in the sales (mg/PCU) was observed for nine countries (Table 8.). For five countries, an increase of more than 5 % was observed (range 11 % to 51 %). The country with an increase in sales of 51 % changed its data collection system between 2011 and 2014, consequently these data should be interpreted with a great care.

Quote
A large difference in the sales, expressed as mg/PCU, was observed between the most- and least-selling countries. This is likely to be partly due to differences in the composition of the animal population in the various countries (e.g. more pigs than cattle). Furthermore, differences in the production system may play an important role. Amongst other factors, there is also considerable variation in terms of daily dosage and length of treatment between the various antimicrobial agents and formulations used, and other factors must also be considered. Differences in the selection of data source -- i.e. prescriptions, sales data or purchase data -- may have an impact, although this is considered to be low.

In 2014, the prescribing patterns for the various veterinary antimicrobial classes, expressed as mg/PCU, varied substantially between the countries. Notable variations were observed between the different countries in the proportion of the sales accounted for by the CIAs with the highest priority in human medicine -- 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and macrolides, with proportions ranging from 0.01% to 1.5%, 0.01% to11.9%, and 0% to 16.9 %, respectively. Since the major proportion of the sales of these classes/subclasses was accounted for by macrolides, the variations observed between the countries are likely, in part, to reflect difference in the relative proportion of the various animal species and, in particular, differences in pig production (use of macrolides).

Overall, in the 29 countries, the sales (mg/PCU) of 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, polymyxins (mostly colistin) and macrolides accounted for 0.2 %, 1.9 %, 6.6 % and 7.5 %, respectively, of the total sales of antimicrobial VMPs in 2014.

How about we deny access to antibiotics for the farmers, vets, and manufacturers.

Don't be a dumbass.

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #9
Well...

Quote
The latest report, published in October 2016, shows that sales of antibiotics for use in animals in Europe fell by 2.4% between 2011 and 2014, despite a considerable increase in a Member State which switched to an improved data collection system in 2014 and registered more sales. In 24 of those countries that provided data for this period, sales fell by 12%:
Yes, usage of antibiotics, as a overall class, went down, but usage of the critical ones for human health went up.

Quote
For instance, sales of fluoroquinolones - the newest versions of which are used to treat life-threatening illnesses including pneumonia and Legionnaire's disease - stood at 141 tonnes across the countries surveyed in 2013, and rose to 172 tonnes in 2014. Sales of macrolides, also classed as critically important to human health, rose from 59 to 67 tonnes in the same period. This shows that efforts to prevent the drugs most crucial for human health from being used in farming are failing.
Truth is out of style

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #10
Okay, but, again, you're looking at the gross numbers and not the mg/PCU, and the numbers are taken out of context.

That last line in your quote: "Routine use of antibiotics on animals - which is frequently practised across the world as a method of promoting their growth - is supposed to be banned within the EU."

Where's the evidence that this is in fact what's happening?

From the actual report:
Quote
Overall, in the 29 countries, the sales (mg/PCU) of 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, polymyxins (mostly colistin) and macrolides accounted for 0.2 %, 1.9 %, 6.6 % and 7.5 %, respectively, of the total sales of antimicrobial VMPs in 2014.

If drugs from these 3 classes were being used as non-therapeutic growth promoters, why would they account for such low percentages of antibiotics purchased?

The thing people seem to forget is that there are therapeutic uses of these drugs in food animals. Any number of factors could cause numbers to go up any given year, the most obvious being an outbreak of a highly infectious respiratory disease, which is what some of these more broad spectrum, heavy-hitting drugs are used for. And, yes, you do want to treat these animals. The big issue is what I think is the inherent problem in modern food animal production - focusing on herd health over individual health. In many places, if one animal is symptomatic and has something highly contagious, everyone gets treated. That method obviously has its pros and cons.

I've actually seen a few studies referenced here and there that seem to show if you stop non-therapeutic antibiotic use in food animals, you tend to see an increase in disease incidence and subsequent therapeutic use of antibiotics. It seems that there's an overall reduction in use of antibiotics as a whole, but the instances of therapeutic use might require some of those last resort critical drugs, so it's not such an obvious black and white thing. It's also been found that stopping non-therapeutic antibiotic use increases the gut populations of the bacteria that infect humans. So while you're making it less likely that bacteria will develop resistance from antibiotic use, you're also increasing the bacterial population which would theoretically increase the risk of human infection. So it's choosing between being more likely to get regular salmonella versus being less likely to get resistant salmonella. I'd probably pick the former, but I don't think it's necessarily such an obvious choice, especially when you add in all of the other complications. Not to the level of "omg you people are committing genocide."

Then there's the wider context. The bacteria we usually worry about in food animals are resistant strains of enterococcus, campylobacter, and salmonella. There's evidence that suggests non-therapeutic antibiotic use increases resistance in all 3 and that it can be transferred to humans if there's a lapse in hygiene. But the other thing to consider is that this is just a small part of the antibiotic resistance problem. The main culprit has been and continues to be overuse of antibiotics in humans, leading to nocosomial infections and outbreaks. That doesn't mean we should ignore the role food animal production plays and that we should just be totally indiscriminate with using antibiotics, but it's stupid to point the finger at food production and then call it a day, good job, problem solved, guys!

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #11
Okay, but, again, you're looking at the gross numbers and not the mg/PCU, and the numbers are taken out of context.

That last line in your quote: "Routine use of antibiotics on animals - which is frequently practised across the world as a method of promoting their growth - is supposed to be banned within the EU."

Where's the evidence that this is in fact what's happening?

From the actual report:
Quote
Overall, in the 29 countries, the sales (mg/PCU) of 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, polymyxins (mostly colistin) and macrolides accounted for 0.2 %, 1.9 %, 6.6 % and 7.5 %, respectively, of the total sales of antimicrobial VMPs in 2014.

If drugs from these 3 classes were being used as non-therapeutic growth promoters, why would they account for such low percentages of antibiotics purchased?
I don't think that was the claim. AFAICT the claim was that the antibiotics of last resort shouldn't be used on livestock at all.

Quote
It's also been found that stopping non-therapeutic antibiotic use increases the gut populations of the bacteria that infect humans. So while you're making it less likely that bacteria will develop resistance from antibiotic use, you're also increasing the bacterial population which would theoretically increase the risk of human infection. So it's choosing between being more likely to get regular salmonella versus being less likely to get resistant salmonella. I'd probably pick the former, but I don't think it's necessarily such an obvious choice, especially when you add in all of the other complications.
Ok, but why are more (but less-resistant) gut bacteria going to be a problem if the slaughtering is done to standard? You shouldn't have gut bacteria all over your steak anyway.

Quote
The main culprit has been and continues to be overuse of antibiotics in humans, leading to nocosomial infections and outbreaks. That doesn't mean we should ignore the role food animal production plays and that we should just be totally indiscriminate with using antibiotics, but it's stupid to point the finger at food production and then call it a day, good job, problem solved, guys!
I don't think anyone was suggesting this.
Truth is out of style

Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #12
In addition to not allowing animal use of last resort antibiotics I think they should have independent vets inspect farm operations and if they find the misuse of antibiotics the operation gets a warning.  Find it again in say 5 years and they get no more antibiotics, period.

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #13
I don't think that was the claim. AFAICT the claim was that the antibiotics of last resort shouldn't be used on livestock at all.

That one line made the claim that antibiotics are being used as growth promoters despite that being illegal in the EU, and the implication was that the report showed this is the case. The report didn't say or show anything of the sort.

As for antibiotics like Baytril not being used at all in livestock, I think that's unrealistic.

Ok, but why are more (but less-resistant) gut bacteria going to be a problem if the slaughtering is done to standard? You shouldn't have gut bacteria all over your steak anyway.

...because we already know that contamination happens despite our best efforts. You shouldn't have gut bacteria all over your steak, but shit happens ( ) on a fairly regular basis and sometimes you do. The higher prevalence of salmonella, campy, etc. in food animals directly leads to higher prevalence in the meat.

Quote
The main culprit has been and continues to be overuse of antibiotics in humans, leading to nocosomial infections and outbreaks. That doesn't mean we should ignore the role food animal production plays and that we should just be totally indiscriminate with using antibiotics, but it's stupid to point the finger at food production and then call it a day, good job, problem solved, guys!
I don't think anyone was suggesting this.


This topic is politically charged, and the article you linked uncritically quoted some people involved. There are real concerns, here, but there's no need to :stopper: over bending of data to bolster a predetermined opinion. There's a shit-ton of information in that report and also some limitations as to what the data tell you, and that article is actually quite misleading.

  • MSG
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #14
:popcorn:
braying among the ruins

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #15
So you reckon I should keep arguing with the vet just for added entertainment? :grin:
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  • MSG
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #16
Yes of course, this is tr after all
braying among the ruins

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #17
Ok cool. :parrot:  :parrot:

Meep is a shill for Big Pharma and is trying to promote world domination by evil corporations and doesn't care about animals at all.

How's that for starters?
Truth is out of style

Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #18
I hate it when big reports don't boil down to obvious ways big corporations are evil and destroying our environment. Because, since that is the case, the reports that don't focus on that fact are clearly failing to do their jobs.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #19
I don't think that was the claim. AFAICT the claim was that the antibiotics of last resort shouldn't be used on livestock at all.

That one line made the claim that antibiotics are being used as growth promoters despite that being illegal in the EU, and the implication was that the report showed this is the case. The report didn't say or show anything of the sort.
I didn't read that line as saying the antibiotix were being used as growth promoters, although it may have been intended to say that. I read the "routine use" as being "excessive use of shit you don't need and that is likely to cause problems down the track". Let's face it, we know GP's are often problematic in this regard. Some of them (a lot of them?) prescribe all sorts of antibiotics without good cause, instead of keeping them for when they're really necessary. Vets are basically GP's for non-humans. I'd be surprised if a lot of them didn't have a similar mindset.

...because we already know that contamination happens despite our best efforts. You shouldn't have gut bacteria all over your steak, but shit happens ( ) on a fairly regular basis and sometimes you do. The higher prevalence of salmonella, campy, etc. in food animals directly leads to higher prevalence in the meat.
Yebbut as you said, you'd go for more bacteria with less resistance, right?
Truth is out of style

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #20
So you reckon I should keep arguing with the vet just for added entertainment? :grin:

Come Wednesday, I'll be officially 1/24th of a vet!

Ok cool. :parrot:  :parrot:

Meep is a shill for Big Pharma and is trying to promote world domination by evil corporations and doesn't care about animals at all.

How's that for starters?

I do have a mountain of student loans to pay off...  :hmm:

  • MSG
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #21
:popcorn:
braying among the ruins

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #22
So you reckon I should keep arguing with the vet just for added entertainment? :grin:

Come Wednesday, I'll be officially 1/24th of a vet!
1/24th of congratulations!

I do have a mountain of student loans to pay off...  :hmm:
:reign:
Truth is out of style

  • meepmeep
  • Administrator
  • zombiecat queen
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #23
I didn't read that line as saying the antibiotix were being used as growth promoters, although it may have been intended to say that. I read the "routine use" as being "excessive use of shit you don't need and that is likely to cause problems down the track".

Well, it did say "which is used to promote growth blahblahblah." This is a very common practice though it's been banned in some places. It's still done here in the US. But we also do have a lot of strict rules about what types of antibiotics you can use in food animals and in which situations.

Vets are basically GP's for non-humans.

We do have specialists, you know. :colbert:

Vets who work on food animals are a different breed. The concern is generally for herd health, and like I said, that can often lead to treating the whole herd when one or a handful of individuals are sick. It's a matter of juggling all the associated costs, money and otherwise. I'm not as familiar with the food animal world, really, and at first glance, it seems like it'd be monumentally fucking stupid to treat the whole herd, but from what little I do know, it can be safer to do it that way, even when factoring in the risk of increasing resistance. Treating individuals as symptoms arise can put the whole herd's health at risk, and if you end up with more animals that are even sicker, your medical interventions might have a worse impact on the environment.

Yebbut as you said, you'd go for more bacteria with less resistance, right?

As an individual, yes. Things may or may not look different on the population level. It's possible that having more bacteria and more infected meat sources would just mean a small amount of people get manageable infections that wouldn't have gotten them otherwise. Maybe it's not a particularly significant number of people and maybe it's mostly milder forms of diseases. But maybe it affects a much larger number of people instead and maybe it hits a higher number of immunocompromised people especially hard, and you end up with more seriously sick people than you would have with a smaller number of resistant infections.

I'm inclined to think that more bacteria and more contamination with fewer resistant infections would be safer for the population as a whole, but I don't know if we have any evidence showing that to be the case. I can see how it'd be possible for it not to be the case.

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Use of strongest antibiotics rises to record levels on European farms
Reply #24
We do have specialists, you know. :colbert:
Yebbut there's fuck all difference between sticking your hand up a cow's arse and sticking your hand up a pig's arse.
Truth is out of style