Updates in Danish "Yellow Card Scheme" for antibiotics
Danish "Yellow Card Scheme" regarding antibiotics for pigs raised in commercial farms has been updated and a larger number of pig herds now risk being placed under stricter supervision by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. In a number of cases, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has not followed up on orders for pig producers with excessive antibiotic consumption, announced the Minister of Food Mogens Jensen.
Since 2015, due to an administrative error, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has not assessed whether there should be further sanctions for those pig producers who failed to reduce their antibiotic consumption sufficiently after receiving a yellow card. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration's preliminary review shows that there are a maximum of 29 herds from 2016 to and including August 2020. Cases from 2015 have not yet been reviewed.
"It is a serious mistake that the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has not tightened the screw on the pig producers who - despite orders and guidance - have not followed the rules of the game, there can be no two opinions about it," said Minister Jensen.
If a farmer does not manage to reduce his antibiotic consumption following an order for a Yellow Card, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration may order stricter supervision to put an end to the high antibiotic consumption.
In the extreme, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration can give the farmer a red card, and thus demand that the farmer has fewer pigs in the stables. It typically affects the farmer's earnings. It is the possibility of these sanctions that have not been assessed. The yellow card scheme has in 10 years helped to reduce antibiotic consumption in pig herds by just over 30%.
"The yellow card scheme has generally been a great success and has provided the authorities with some effective tools. But I also expect that they will be used in the, fortunately, few cases where the farmers do not follow the rules," added Mogens Jensen.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has now rectified the lack of follow-up on the yellow cards, and initiated a review of the control and sanction, not just at the pig producers, but at the entire veterinary area. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration is currently following up on cases from the past 12 months. Older cases will be included by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration as a risk parameter when appointed for future control.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration's review shows that there have been violations in eight cases in 2019-2020. These herds are now at risk of being placed under stricter supervision.
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