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Sale of antibiotics for livestock down 50 percent

The sale of antibiotics for use in livestock in the Netherlands was down 51% during the first half of 2012 compared to the same period 3 years ago, according to data from Wageningen University cited in a statement by Agriculture Minister Co Verdaas and Health Minister Edith Schippers.

The Dutch government previously set a goal to reduce the 2009 levels of use of antibiotics in farm animals by 50 percent by 2013, in order to address issues of bacterial resistance.

In 2010 the Netherlands ranked 5th in Europe with respect to sales of antibiotics for use in farm animals. Only Hungary, Spain, Belgium, and Portugal ranked higher, and sales in the Netherlands were twice as high as in the UK and a staggering 90 percent higher than in Sweden.

According to Eurostat data cited by Bloomberg, the Netherlands has the highest density of hogs and cattle of the 27 EU Member States, with approximately 291 pigs and 77 cows per square kilometre.

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Carly Blair

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