Pig-farmers use of antibiotics continued to grow in 2014

Despite the threat from the dangerous pig-bacteria MRSA CC398, the Danish pig-farmers use more and more antibiotics in their daily production. This is the result of our analysis on totally new data concerning medicine use. We publish the detailed list of pig-farmers use of antibiotics during the last six years.

Antibiotics are commonly used in commercial swine production for disease treatment, disease prevention and control, and growth promotion. (Photo from Wikipedia)


In 2010 the use was at the highest level. Pig-farmers in that year used 6.219 mio. daily dosis of antibiotics (ADDkg) in nine months. At that time the Yellow Scheme was introduced to get the use of antibiotics to decline.

In 2012 usage reached the lowest level in recent years with a nine months use of daily dosis of antibiotics on 4.995 mio. Since then the amount has been growing again – also from 2013 to 2014 – now being 5.141 mio. daily doses over nine months. From last year to 2014 this reflect a small growth on 0,4 pct.

The conclusion corresponds with the result from the yearly Danish report on medicine,Danmap, just released:

The total consumption of antimicrobial agents in 2013 amounted to 116.3 tonnes of active compounds, an increase of 4% increase compared with 2012. Pigs accounted for approximately 78%, cattle for approximately 10%, fur animals for 4%, aquaculture for 3%, and poultry for 1% of the total veterinary consumption of antimicrobials measured in kg active compounds. The remaining 3% was used in pets, horses and others.

On the contrary, measuring the actual use in kg in total it seems there is a small decline in 2014 of 2,6 pct. compared to the same periode in 2013. It is followed month by month by the authority here. This provides only totals for the use of medicine on pigs, not divided according to single farmers. Here it is measured in kg, not in dosis.

The Danish minister of Agriculture, Dan Jørgensen (S), claims the authorities closely follow the use of antibiotics.

Publishing with 3 news medias

Investigative Reporting Denmark has obtained the data on pig-farmers and cattle-farmers use of antibiotics from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. We publish the data on pig-farms in a cooperation with Danish media partners: Ekstra Bladet, Jydske Vestkysten and Midtjyske Medier.

The information is based on the Danish regulation on Yellow Scheme based on daily doses of medicine for different pig and cattle types on a nine month average. We have obtained data for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. We have also asked to get the data for mink and chicken, but here the authority refused. They claimed that it was too big a task to extract the data.

This method is regarded as the best way to display the actual use of antibiotics in different pig-farms and municipalities. From the data at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration it could also be possible to divide the data in kg antibiotics, but the authorities y refused to extract these data.

Investigative Reporting Denmark:

18th of July 2013: Here are the heavy users of antibiotics in pig-production – expert warns high use causes a proliferation of dangerous MRSA.

Stiften 13th of October 2014:
Danske svin har fået mere penicillin
112 landmænd risikerer gult kort for penicillinforbrug
Landmand: Vi forsøger at spare på medicinen

JyskeVestkysten 22th of October
A bigger graphic presentation here.


Open the datadocumentation and get the excel-file with the data.
Documentation for the FOI-requests on documents and data can be found here in Danish.


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