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7th Report on Antimicrobial Use in Animals


Recently, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has released its 7th report on Antimicrobial use in animals, covering the period from 2017 to 2019.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Findings of the Report on Antimicrobial Use
  2. Recommendations for Antimicrobial Use
  3. Antimicrobial Drugs, also known as Antibiotics
  4. World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)

Key Findings of the Report on Antimicrobial Use:

Data Sources:

  • The analysis is based on data from 121 participants who provided quantitative data for at least one year out of 157 participants who submitted data to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Global Dip in Antimicrobial Use:

  • There was a significant 13% decrease in global antimicrobial usage in animals over a three-year period, from 2017 to 2019.
  • Out of 80 countries, 49 in Asia, the Far East, Oceania, and Europe reported an overall reduction in antimicrobial use.
  • Conversely, 31 countries in African and American regions reported an overall increase in antimicrobial usage during the same period.

Antimicrobial Growth Promoters:

  • 68% of the participants have discontinued using antimicrobials as growth promoters.
  • However, 26% of participants continue to use growth promoters, often due to a lack of proper legislation or regulations.
  • Common antimicrobial growth promoters included flavomycin, bacitracin, avilamycin, and tylosin.
  • While flavomycin and avilamycin are currently excluded from human use, bacitracin is not classified among the World Health Organization’s (WHO) critically important antimicrobials (CIAs).
  • Some of these antimicrobials are classified as CIAs or highest priority CIAs (HP-CIAs).

Recommendations for Antimicrobial Use:

Continued Efforts to Preserve Efficacy:

  • Despite progress and shifts in antimicrobial usage, ongoing efforts are considered crucial to preserve the effectiveness of these drugs.

Shared Responsibility for Safeguarding Antibiotic Effectiveness:

  • Safeguarding the effectiveness of existing antibiotics is emphasized as a shared responsibility, recognizing the challenges in developing new antibiotics.

Monitoring and Data Collection:

  • Monitoring how, when, and which antimicrobials are used is critically important.
  • This data collection can help identify usage patterns and trends, which, in turn, can inform decision-making and support the implementation of measures to ensure the optimal and sustainable use of these essential medicines.

Antimicrobial Drugs, also known as Antibiotics:

  • Antimicrobial drugs are substances designed to either kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.
  • They find applications in treating or preventing infections in humans, animals, and sometimes plants.
  • These drugs play a pivotal role in modern medicine, enabling the control and elimination of various microbial diseases.
  • Prior to the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928, minor injuries or cuts could result in severe infections or fatalities. However, these antibiotics, which have saved countless lives, are now facing reduced effectiveness due to their improper use and overuse in various sectors.
  • This issue is referred to as ‘Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).’ It can initially emerge in animal, human, or plant populations and subsequently pose a threat to all other species.

World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH):

  • The World Organisation for Animal Health, initially established as the Office International des Épizooties (OIE), is a standard-setting body acknowledged under the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
  • This intergovernmental organization has the primary mission of enhancing animal health on a global scale.
  • As of 2018, it comprised a total of 182 Member Countries, with India being among these member nations.
  • WOAH plays a crucial role in developing normative documents that define regulations and guidelines for Member Countries to safeguard themselves against the introduction of diseases and pathogens. One notable document is the Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
  • The standards set by WOAH are officially recognized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as reference international sanitary regulations.
  • The organization is headquartered in Paris, France.

-Source: Down To Earth

June 2024