In Belgium, the prudent use of antibiotics and the prevention of antimicrobial resistance and spread in animals is an important issue for animal health policy. Certain conditions for the use of critically important antibiotics and the central registration of all antibiotic use in layers, broilers, veal calves and pigs are laid down in the Royal Decree of 21 July 2016. The different sectors and the competent authorities are working together to achieve the following second set of targets by 2024:
- A total use of antibiotics of 60 mg/PCU or less,
- A total use of colistin of 1 mg/PCU or less,
- A 75% reduction from 2011 levels in the use of medicated feed containing antibiotics,
- Maintain yearly, as a minimum, a 75 % reduction in the use of critically important antibiotics.
Following reduction targets were set in the period 2016-2020:
- A reduction of 50% in the total use of antibiotics between 2011 and 2020;
- A reduction of 75% in the use of critical important antibiotics between 2011 and 2020;
- A reduction of 50% in the use of medicated feed with antibiotics between 2011 and 2017.
The reduction targets on the use of critical important antibiotics and on the use of medicated feed with antibiotics were achieved in 2017. A final reduction of 40% in the total use of antibiotics was reached in 2020. Yearly activity reports give an overview of the state of play relating to the use of antibiotics and to the presence of resistance in animals.
The monitoring of antimicrobial resistance fully complied with Commission Implementing Decision 2013/652/EU and complies as of 2021 with Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/1729. All results are published in the national zoonoses country reports, which are available on the EFSA website. More information regarding the measures taken at EU-level, is available on the website of DG SANTE.
Results of the Belgian veterinary surveillance of antibacterial consumption (BelVet-SAC) are available in English on the website of BelVet-SAC.