U.S. consumer demand for products raised without any antibiotics has risen, particularly for poultry. In 2017, approximately 44 percent of U.S. broilers were raised without antibiotics, up from 2.7 percent in 2012, according to a new USDA report, The U.S. and EU Animal Pharmaceutical Industries in the Age of Antibiotic Resistance.
Between 2015 and 2017, total U.S. sales of antibiotics for food-animal production declined 30 percent (by weight), after annual increases in each year between 2009 and 2015. From 2010 to 2015, in 17 EU countries, antibiotics sales for production dropped 31 percent.
U.S. restrictions on use of growth-promoting antibiotics enacted in 2017 appear to have contributed to declines in antibiotics sales, and similar European regulations are generally correlated with declines in overall antibiotics sales.
Approvals of food-animal antibiotics have declined both in number and as a share of approvals of all food-animal pharmaceuticals. Since 1992, most new antibiotic approvals for use in food animals have been generic drugs that are also used in human medicine.
This report compiles and analyzes data from a variety of sources, including meat production and export data from multiple countries, antibiotics sales data from both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the European Medicines Agency, animal pharmaceutical industry data from firm annual reports and industry trade groups, and license data for U.S. veterinary biologics from USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics.