It's not just for humans that antibiotics are no longer automatic.

The French Food and Health Safety Agency (Anses) assured Thursday that "antibiotics are used more and more with reason" for farm animals, but also companions.

The challenge is to avoid "the emergence of resistance that could pose a problem in humans" as well as in animals, with therapeutic dead ends, assured Gilles Salvat at a press conference, Deputy Managing Director for ANSES research.

“We had a strong mobilization of stakeholders, veterinarians and breeders, with results that are there.

We are now on a plateau, ”noted Gérard Moulin, from the National Agency for Veterinary Medicines.

“Compared to 2011, the start of the Ecoantibio plan to reduce the use of antibiotics, the overall exposure of animals has decreased by 45.4%”, underlines ANSES in its annual report.

-64.4% exposure to antibiotics in poultry

In detail, this exposure has fallen sharply in poultry (-64.4%) and pigs (-55.5%).

Next are rabbits (-39.9%), cattle (-22.5%), and domestic carnivores such as cats and dogs (-11.8%).

For these last three groups, "this decrease seems to have reached a limit".

Their exposure even increased over the last year: + 2.5% for rabbits, + 2.9% for cattle and + 5.1% for cats and dogs.

In companion animals, “hypotheses” have been made about a possible “effect of the Covid”.

The owners were able to pay them "special attention" during confinement, while the "ups and downs" of veterinary surgeries "may have led to delays in treatment" requiring increased use of antibiotics, according to Gérard. Mill.

Do not relax vigilance

Among the "points of vigilance" put forward by the health agency: an increase in the rate of resistance to antibiotics observed "for two years in dogs, cats and horses".

"For example, the rate of strains resistant to amoxicillin in cats, which was 30% in 2018, rose to more than 40% in 2020", illustrates ANSES, for whom "the phenomenon must therefore be monitored ".

With a view to further reducing exposure to antibiotics, the Ministry of Agriculture is launching an awareness campaign on Thursday aimed at breeders and pet owners, with the slogan "Antibios, as it should be, when it is necessary ".

The ministry indicates in a press release that it wants to "raise awareness (...) of some of the good practices allowing the prevention of bacterial diseases: the improvement of the living conditions of animals, the adoption of better hygiene practices and the vaccination of animals".


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  • Animals

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