The objective of this study is to obtain detailed insight into the trends in the exposure of farm animals to antibiotics. This is done by monitoring both overall sales data at the national level and usage data per animal species. The results of the study can be used by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation for policy evaluation. In addition, the usage data can play a role in interpreting trends in antimicrobial resistance. Moreover, these data might be used to inform the European Commission.
Monitoring in the Netherlands
Monitoring of antibiotic use in the Netherlands is done in three ways. First, FIDIN, the federation of the Dutch veterinary pharmaceutical industry, annually reports the overall sales of antibiotics. Second, LEI Wageningen UR monitors the antibiotic use per animal species, on a stratified sample of farms. Third, the large animal production sectors recently implemented centralised registration systems, monitoring the use on all farms.
Monitoring in Europe
All EU member states are required to monitor antimicrobial resistance in food-producing animals of public health concern (Zoonosis Directive 2003/99/EC). Within this context, monitoring of antibiotic use is equally important. Therefore the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is trying to establish national systems for the collection of data on sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in Europe, in a standardised way (EMA, 2010). The sales data from FIDIN are also used for the national reporting to EMA.