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NL: cease medicated feeds in 2012

Production of medicated feeds in the Netherlands could end in 2012, said Henk Flipsen, director of the Dutch animal feed organisation Nevedi in a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Prerequisite would be that acceptable alternatives are available to administer drugs to animals.

Flipsen said that farmers could mix the medicines with the feed (topdressing) or they could be administered through the water.

However, research into these suggestions would be expensive and it is unclear who should pay for it.

Dik Mevius, head of the reference laboratory of the Central Veterinary Institute in the Netherlands does not expect much from the alternatives Flipsen suggests.

"It will create problems with carryover of drugs and it will be detrimental to the farmers’ health. An additional problem is that medicated feed have an European registration," he said.

Mevius adds that feed quality is under pressure due to high costs and that since the ban on meat and bone meal (as a result of the BSE crisis) high quality protein has disappeared from the feed.

A decreasing use of medicated feed is one of the agreements that have been laid down in the Agreement Antibiotics Resistance last year. Reducing the use of antibiotic drugs in farm animals is aimed at reducing the increased resistance against antibiotics in animals as well as humans.

Natalie Berkhout

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