Antibiotic Use Rises with Larger Livestock Populations


By John Maday, Editor, Bovine Veterinarian

The FDA last week released its annual report on antibiotic use in food animals, showing a year-over-year increase in line with expanding cattle and hog inventories.

The “2014 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals” shows domestic sales and distribution of antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals increased by 22 percent from 2009 through 2014, and increased by 4 percent from 2013 through 2014.

Between 2013 and 2014, U.S. cattle inventories increased by 2.4 percent, from 87.7 million to 89.8 million. During the same time, numbers of U.S. hogs and pigs increased by 7.1 percent from 61.5 million to 65.9 million, according to the USDA. Together, cattle and hog inventories grew by about 4.3 percent from 2013 through 2014. Broiler inventories during the same period remained flat, with a year-over-year increase of less than 1 percent.


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