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OIE Publishes Report on Global Antimicrobial Use

Antimicrobial use in food producing animals remains a hot button issue. For years, FDA, USDA, and various industry stakeholders have sought to tackle public health concerns associated with the use of medically important antibiotics to promote growth or feed efficiency in food-producing animals. In the U.S., FDA is working with industry to gradually phase out the use of medically important antimicrobials in food animals for production purposes.  In an address to the UN General Assembly late last year, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) called on consumers to choose “antibiotic free” meat, noting that doing so would help stem the “slow motion tsunami” of antimicrobial resistance. And, recently, states have also jumped into the fray, with California, for example, adopting strict limits in 2015 on the use of antibiotics in healthy livestock, effectively barring their routine use to prevent illness or promote growth.

Earlier this month, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) published for the first time a report outlining how livestock producers use antimicrobials in animals around the world. The report, titled “OIE Annual report on the use of antimicrobial agents in animals — Better understanding of the global situation,” provides a global and regional analysis based on data ranging from 2010 to 2015, with 130 of OIE’s 180 member countries participating in data collection.  Key findings include but are not limited to:

A total of 96 of 130 (74%) OIE member countries indicated that they do not authorize antimicrobial agents for growth promotion in animals.

Twenty-five member countries provided a list of antimicrobial agents authorized for growth promotion; Tylosin and Bacitracin were most frequently quoted. Colistin was mentioned by 10 of 25 member countries.

Tetracyclines and macrolides were the most commonly used antimicrobial agents.

The main route of administration in animals was oral.

OIE notes that the information provided in this new report represents an important first step to better understanding the global use of antimicrobial agents in animals.

© 2018 Keller and Heckman LLP


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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...