Broiler producers in the Netherlands cut antibiotics use by a further 3% in 2018, new data reveals.

The use of antibiotics in broiler birds wwas 9.9DDA (Defined Daily Dose Animals).

The DDA is the measure used by the Dutch and refers to the number of days an animal is treated if it lived for a year – because broilers have shorter lifespans, it is an extrapolated figure.

The data refers to producers signed up to the country’s IKB scheme.

About 79% of all broiler flocks did not receive any antibiotics over the period, according to trade association Avined, which produced the report.

And for so-called “Third Choice” Antibiotics, those considered critical to human health, 0.11 DDA was recorded in 2018.

Dutch broiler producers are signed up under the “traffic light system” based on thier antibiotic use.

Twice a year farmers are assesed on medicine use and categorised either Red, Orange or Green. These values were fixed in 2011, and will change in the second half of 2019.

Farmers in the Orange category must make an improvement plan to reduce usage, while those in the Red category must work with a vet to develop a remedial plan of action to reduce use within four weeks of receiving the rating.