Denmark’s Livestock Antibiotic Success


What is antibiotic resistance in simple terms? Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria
to withstand an antibiotic treatment. We are facing a time in which any kind of
surgery which is considered routine could become a dangerous practice. Imagine having a population of many bacteria,
like let’s say 100. And one of them, by chance, is antibiotic
resistant. When you use an antibiotic, 99 bacteria that
are antibiotic susceptible will be killed. This one bacteria will actually have a huge
place to thrive and it will multiply and all of a sudden we will have a population of bacteria
that are all resistant to the antibiotic. In the U.S., 70 percent of antibiotics are
sold for use on farms. Farm practices include routine, subtherapeutic
doses of antibiotics given to animals who are not even sick. Denmark has been promoting responsible use
of antibiotics since the 1990s. We are more than 25 years inside very deep
attention to promoting responsible use. By promoting responsible use I mean both limiting
the need for the use of antibiotics and when antibiotics are needed, using them in a judicious
way. We have to remember that when we talk about
antibiotic use, it is not only the amount that is important but it is also the way these
antibiotics are administered. Tell me, how has this affected Denmark’s pork
industry? Well, we have a lot of numbers that actually
show that we didn’t see a decrease in productivity. We have actually seen an increase in productivity. We are still as competitive as before in the
European market and we are one of the big pork exporters.

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