Antibiotics

Antibiotics

SAFEGUARDING THE LIVESTOCK IN OUR SUPPLY CHAINS

Antibiotics are used to protect the health and welfare of the animals in our food supply chains. In recent years the conversation around antibiotic-use has become of critical importance, due to the potential risk of resistance to our own human medicines.

The drive to reduce the use of certain treatments for livestock across the industry is continually progressing, with particular focus on limiting the use of the High Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-CIA) and improving on-farm data collection practices. Lidl GB work alongside a multitude of industry partners, including the Red Tractor, the National Farmers Union, the National Pig Association as well as our supply base to ensure the responsible use and continuous reduction of these antibiotics, while ensuring animal welfare remains a priority.

Lidl GB endorses the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) and is committed to their reduction targets, set across the animal agricultural sectors as of October 2017. We are therefore in support of their recommendation to use antibiotics on a basis of ‘as little as possible and as much as necessary’.

 

Our Targets & Commitments

This table indicates our targets, adopted from the national targets set by The RUMA Targets Taskforce, and the current progress our suppliers have made in the last year towards these goals.

  Sector  2020 Antibiotic Reduction Target  Supplier Performance (2017 data)
  Dairy Cows  <21 mg/PCU  17mg/kg
  Beef Cows  HP-CIA: 50% reduction  HP-CIA: 0.3mg/kg
  Overall use: <10mg/kg or 10% reduction  Overall use: 19mg/kg
  Broiler Chickens  <25 mg/kg  9.85mg/kg
  Laying Hens  HP-CIA: Days medicated to remain below 0.05%  No HP-CIA’s used
  Overall use: Total bird/days medicated to remain below 1%  Total bird/days treated remain below 1%
  Turkey  <50mg/kg  45.18mg/kg
  Pigs  HP-CIA: 0.15mg/kg  HP-CIA: Average 0.1mg/kg
  Overall use: 99 mg/kg  Overall use: 131mg/kg
  Sheep  HP-CIA: 50% reduction  Data collection efforts are ongoing
  Overall use: 10% reduction  Data collection efforts are ongoing

What has the industry achieved so far?

  • UK sales of antibiotics for food-producing animals have fallen 40% since 2013; overall use in 2017 was 37mg/kg, one of the lowest in the EU.
  • Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotic (HP-CIA) sales fell 52% between 2013 and 2017 from an already low level, and 29% between 2016 and 2017.

What has our key pork supplier achieved?

  • Antibiotic use dropped by 16% from 2017 figures to reach 110 mg/PCU in 2018.
  • The use of High Priority Critically Important Antibiotics has also seen a decrease. The use of HP-CIAs is recorded at 0.06 mg/PCU.
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What has our key poultry supplier achieved?

  • The use of antibiotics remains well below industry targets, averaging 8.4mg/kg compared to industry 2020 target of <25 mg/kg.

 

As part of our drive for increased transparency, we are committed to developing our data collection processes and reporting alongside our suppliers, and the industry, in an efficient and effective way, updating our disclosures on an annual basis. This will form part of our long-term supply agreements with strategic suppliers.

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What else are we working on?

We have partnered with The University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine on a four-year research and innovation project, supporting post-graduate research in anti-microbial resistance (AMR), specific to the dairy sector in Scotland.

Through a mix of questionnaires, direct farmer engagement opportunities and stakeholder project work, this research is aimed to significantly contribute to public and industry understanding on AMR. With farmers as the focus of this research programme, we want to determine attitudes towards the use of antibiotics and support innovative ways to reduce their use.  

Collaboration

Lidl GB is part of the Food Industry Initiative on Antimicrobials (FIIA) which has the stated vision of ‘Retailers, manufacturers, processors and food service companies coming together to promote and support responsible antimicrobial use and action on antimicrobial resistance'. The intention of this initiative is to support and engage with existing industry groups working in this area, ensuring work is aligned, avoiding duplication of effort and it has 3 key working groups on Responsible Use, Data and Research & Development. 

Find out more information about the FIIA here.