The amount of antibiotics administered by all livestock farms in the QS scheme
fell further in 2020 compared to the previous year. The pig farms were able to make the greatest savings: Compared to the previous year by 9.3 tonnes and compared to 2014, when the entire pig production was recorded in the QS antibiotic monitoring for the first time, even by more than 43 percent.
In a pilot project in 2020, antibiotic monitoring also included broiler parents for chicken and turkey. In this area, poultry farmers administered 4.13 tonnes of antibiotics in a total of 230 farms with an average flock size of almost 30,000 birds. The downward trend in antibiotic quantities will continue across all animal groups in 2020. In total, livestock farmers in the QS scheme were able to save 2.9 tonnes of antibiotics compared to the previous year.
"The current figures from the antibiotic monitoring show once again that the veterinarians in the QS scheme only prescribe critical antibiotics in extreme emergencies, when all alternatives have been exhausted in the treatment of sick animals. A constantly low base quantity of 3.78 tonnes for all QS livestock farms is currently difficult to reduce in view of animal welfare and the compelling need to treat sick animals," Katrin Spemann, responsible for antibiotic monitoring at QS, explains the current developments. Reserve antibiotics accounted for a share of 0.83 percent of the total amount of antibiotics administered in the QS scheme in 2020.
The quality and plausibility of the data in the QS antibiotics monitoring is verified via the therapy index of the individual livestock farms. As of the reporting date of 1 February 2021, QS had over 90 percent of all therapy indices from the farms. This enables QS to regularly check the plausibility of the data.
In the QS scheme, the therapy index indicates the average number of treatment units per animal place. This means that it is calculated for each farm and expresses the average number of days on which each animal was treated with an active substance. The therapy index is based on the figures of the last two quarters.