Antimicrobials are used in livestock production to maintain health and productivity. These practices contribute to the spread of drug-resistant pathogens in both livestock and humans, posing a significant public health threat. We present the first global map (228 countries) of antibiotic consumption in livestock and conservatively estimate the total consumption in 2010 at 63,151 tons. We project that antimicrobial consumption will rise by 67% by 2030, and nearly double in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This rise is likely to be driven by the growth in consumer demand for livestock products in middle-income countries and a shift to large-scale farms where antimicrobials are used routinely. Our findings call for initiatives to preserve antibiotic effectiveness while simultaneously ensuring food security in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
Boeckel, T.P. Van, Brower, C., Gilbert, M., Grenfell, B.T., Levin, S.A., Robinson, T.P., Teillant, A. and Laxminarayan, R. 2015. Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals. PNAS 112(18): 5649 - 5654.