Antibiotic use on Danish poultry farms doubles in two years

Could be problematic for humans if resistant gene jumps to more harmful bacteria

While the use of antibiotics in pig farming has fallen in recent years, it has rocketed in Danish poultry farming, the engineering publication Ingeniøren reports.

According to figures from the food institute DTU Fødevareinstituttet and a report by the antimicrobial surveillance program Danmap in conjunction with the infectious disease centre Statens Serum Institut, the amount of antibiotics used on chickens more than doubled between 2012 and 2014.

What’s more, almost half of the bacteria samples collected from slaughtered chickens are resistant to the widely used antibiotic tetracyklin, representing a 100 percent increase in resistance since 2011.

Could pose a threat
Lars Bogø Jensen, a lecturer at DTU Fødevareinstituttet, explained that while the sample bacteria is unproblematic, resistance could pose a threat to the consumer.

“The bacteria will be able to be transferred to humans; the problem arises if the resistant gene from it jumps to more pathogenic bacteria that can’t thereafter be killed with tetracyklin,” he said.

The reason for the jump in antibiotic use is the high illness rate among chickens. According to Jan Dahl, a head consultant at the agricultural organisation Landbrug og Fødevarer, more than 100 flocks have been hit and a working group has been set up to get to the root of the problem.





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.