Antibiotics in animal husbandry

Titelbild Antibiotika - Tiere Menschen Rechte

Antibiotics are indispensable for human and animal health. However, their effectiveness is increasingly at stake - already today, the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is considered one of the greatest global health threats. At Germanwatch, we primarily keep an eye on the use of antibiotics in industrial livestock production and politically advocate stricter regulations as well as breeding and husbandry methods that are significantly healthier for the animals.

What is the fundamental problem?
Antibiotics in industrial animal husbandry
Antibiotic resistance as a threat to humans

Antibiotika - Kernziele und Unterstützung

Our core objectives and activities

In principle, the prudent use of antibiotics must be constantly promoted and monitored. Incorrect or abusive use of antibiotics must be counteracted and prevented. With regard to industrial livestock production, we focus on the following objectives:

  1. Antibiotics classified by the WHO as " highest priority critically important antimicrobials" (HP CIA) must be excluded from use in industrial livestock production.
  1. Reduction of the general use of antibiotics in livestock production, in particular through significantly improved approaches and measures in the area of animal breeding and husbandry. Existing husbandry systems must be redesigned, especially with regard to animal health. This will also include on-farm as well as general livestock reduction.
  1. Effective implementation of the EU Regulation 2019/6 on veterinary medicinal products and national antibiotic resistance strategies, especially with regard to antibiotics of last resort, including sufficient and transparent monitoring and controlling systems.
  1. Strict and effective implementation of at least the target of the Farm to Fork Strategy to reduce European antibiotic use in animal husbandry by 50 % by 2030.


To achieve these goals, we at Germanwatch focus on the following activities:

  • We prepare information in the form of articles, lectures, (press) releases and background papers.
  • We raise public awareness on the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from animal husbandry.
  • We monitor political processes around the topic, identify and work on important leverage points to minimise the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry and to preserve the efficacy of the most important antibiotics for humans.
  • We are building an action-oriented Europe-wide network on the topic, promoting interdisciplinary exchange and cooperation between organisations from a wide range of fields, including human medicine, veterinary medicine, environmental protection and development cooperation.
  • We examine legal options to promote protection against antibiotic resistance and uncover health risks from industrial animal husbandry through research and laboratory testing.

What can you do?

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Together we can bring about a change in the use of antibiotics and, not least, initiate major changes in animal breeding and husbandry.


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Antibiotika in der Tierhaltung - Zusatz-Infos

Germanwatch e.V.
Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG
IBAN: DE95 3702 0500 0003 2123 23

Bildnachweise: Titel links „Putenstall“ von Uschi Dreiucker/Pixelio; Titel Mitte „Antibiotika-Kuh“ von Peter Hermes Furian/Fotolia; Titel rechts  „Intensivstation“ von Satyrenko/Fotolia; sonstige Bilder von Germanwatch e.V.