April 10, 2012
Russia's 2011 production of feed antibiotics was 47,400 kilogrammes, 3.41 times higher than in 2010, according to the Russian Federal Statistic Service (Rosstat).
Every year antibiotics are becoming more and more popular among Russian farmers, and this trend is also reflected in the price. In January 2012 the average price of feed antibiotics in Russia grew by 4.8% reaching the level of RUB1,073 (US$36) per tonne when compared with January 2011.
According to official statistics, the Russian market of feed antibiotics increased by 230% from 2005-10. Almost half of antibiotics used in agriculture are imported. The major suppliers of this production into the country are â€“ CIS companies Seva, Invesa, and also US company Pfizer. For example, Pfizer from 2005-10 increased supplies of antibiotics in the Russian market by 11 times (from US$450,000 to US$5 million in value).
Experts are currently considering the gaps in the Russian legislation. The main problem is monitoring of the use of antibiotics in feed production, meaning it doesn't meet international standards. So at the moment there is no real control. If a farmer is found to be using antibiotics for non-therapeutic purposes, which is currently prohibited by law, the farmer will incur a small fine, which does not affect his production process. No other action is taken.
Such rapid growth of feed antibiotic production has drawn criticism from the head of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselhoznadhor) Sergei Dankvert. "We have a need to significantly strengthen laws regarding the use of antibiotics in animal feeding," Dankvert said in a recent interview. "We have a number of things that are not reflected in the legislation - for example, nitrofuran." Many countries already prohibit its use, but we still don't consider it an antibiotic."
The experts also forecast that if this trend continues Russia may soon become the largest consumer of feed antibiotics in the world.