SALES of antimicrobial growth promoters increased from 27 tonnes to 36 tonnes between 2002 and 2003, according to a new government report.

The total sales of therapeutic antimicrobials for use in food animals have remained broadly steady over the last six years.

The report found:

  • Sales of therapeutic antimicrobials decreased slightly from 458 tonnes in 2002 to 456 tonnes in 2003
  • Sales of therapeutic antiprotozoals fell in 2003 to 2 tonnes, continuing the general annual decrease in sales
  • Sales of therapeutic antifungals decreased in 2003, relative to 2002
  • 36 tonnes of antimicrobial growth promoters were sold in 2003, compared with 27 tonnes in 2002
  • 241 tonnes of coccidiostats were sold in 2003, a slight decrease from the 250 tonnes sold in 2002.

The report was compiled by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) from sales data provided voluntarily by marketing authorisation holders.

It is a factual report which does not attempt to explain why the sales are at these levels, or interpret trends and patterns.

The “baseline” figures it provides will help clarify patterns of use of veterinary antimicrobial products.

This, according to DEFRA, should enable the government and industry to focus their efforts on reducing the use of antimicrobial products in food-producing animals.