Use of antibiotics for companion animals and livestock in the Netherlands has reduced by more than 60% over the last 10 years (SDa 2019; MARAN-2019). This reduction is the result of a change in policy towards the use of antibiotics in veterinary practice and is characterized by a series of coherent political decisions which changed the playing field for farmers and veterinarians considerably. In the years before 2009 the Netherlands was a high consumer of antibiotics in veterinary practice (Grave et al., 2010). The ban of antimicrobial growth promoters (AGPs) did not result in a reduction in total use since in the Netherlands the AGPs were fully replaced by antibiotics licensed for therapy. The total sales of all antibiotics remained stable at around 600 tons from 2000 to 2009.This use pattern resulted in high levels of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from livestock and food thereof and high prevalence of Livestock Associated MRSA and ESBL-producing E. coli and Salmonella (MARAN, 2019; RIVM, 2009). Specifically, ESBL-producing isolates in the food chain were considered a risk for public health and their high prevalences, predominantly but not solely in poultry and poultry meat products were the direct reason to initiate the change in policy towards antibiotic use in animals.In this manuscript the trends in antibiotic use in poultry will be explored in the context of total use in livestock and its effect on the occurrence and trends in ESBL-producers and antimicrobial resistance in other bacterial species from poultry.
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