One of the most common confusions about antibiotic use in agriculture is the difference between preventative use and growth promotion use.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines preventative use as ‘use of an antimicrobial in healthy animals considered to be at risk of infection or prior to the onset of clinical infectious disease’. The distinction is important because preventative use of some antibiotic classes can play a critical role in antibiotic stewardship and good animal care.
Growth promotion is defined as ‘the use of antimicrobial substances to increase the rate of weight gain and/or the efficiency of feed utilisation’. Growth promotion normally involves administration at lower dose rates, and to be administered continuously.
Given the global imperative to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, it is essential for all governments and industries to be carefully considering how antibiotics are used in livestock production, alongside initiatives in the human and environmental sectors as well. – Pig Progress