Antibiotics are needed in pets and food animals, just as in humans, but efficacy is compromised through antimicrobial resistance and no new antibiotic molecules. The key drivers to reduce consumption and preserve antibiotic efficacy are similar, although arguably stronger, in veterinary than in human medicine, particularly with respect to regulatory hurdles and restrictions in use. Elinor McCartney of Pen & Tec Consulting points out that pressure to reduce antibiotic use, coupled with the EU ban on antimicrobial growth promoters and current debate in the USA, is driving innovation in alternative products that can help reduce, refine and replace antibiotics in farm and companion animals.

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