Sweden takes a step closer to reducing antibiotic overuse in livestock


Sweden takes a step closer to reducing antibiotic overuse in livestock

17 September 2020
The Swedish non-profit organisation Axfoundation has developed a document laying out how to ensure responsible animal husbandry and reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics in livestock.

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing global problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies antibiotic resistance as one of the biggest threats to global public health. At the same time, overuse of antibiotics in global food production is widespread, particularly in the global meat rearing industry, contributing to growing antibiotic resistance among animals and humans. 

This is why Axfoundation, an independent non-profit organisation in Sweden, is tackling this issue and by partnering up with Swedish companies, academia, authorities, industry associations and civil society. Together, they have created the document ‘Antibiotics criteria 2.0’ which lays out criteria and a questionnaire for responsible use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. 

The requirements are on a voluntary base and provide consumers with a means of ensuring that they are buying healthy and responsible meat and animal products. 

The first edition of the criteria was published in 2014 and has now been updated to include, among other criteria, clarified animal welfare, restrictions on veterinary use of antibiotics that are particularly important for healthcare, and criteria for seafood. A dozen Swedish food companies currently use the list and with the now more extensive version, Axfoundation hopes even more actors will apply the document.