December 23, 2011


Netherlands: Challenging to quantify reduction of antibiotics usage in livestock



Scientists in Netherlands find it challenging to quantify financial effects of a reduction of antibiotics usage in livestock production, Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad reports.


The Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI), part of Wageningen University & Research Centre, investigated livestock production facilities in both finisher pig production as well as broiler production having either very high or very low antibiotic costs. The LEI data suggests that lower feed conversion rates at broiler production facilities appear to be associated with highest antibiotics costs.


The data also show that costs for antibiotics usage has dropped by 25% per broiler since 2008. This is mainly achieved by those production facilities with lowest antibiotics usage.


In pig production, those facilities with highest antibiotics usage are the larger ones. In these pig farms, however, the financial balance per sow is substantially higher than in those with lowest antibiotics usage.


The LEI said it is difficult to indicate if higher costs for antibiotics also contribute to higher piglet production per sow. Average costs for antibiotics per sow have come down by just under 30% since 2008 in the Netherlands.

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