[28 November 2018/NZ Herald]

A new report from the Ministry for Primary industries on New Zealand sales of antibiotics for animals and plants that ultimately affect human health provides mixed news on progress on managing the use of these drugs. The report indicates that antibiotic sales via veterinary medicines and agricultural chemicals rose 8 per cent in the two years between 2014 and 2016 year-end, compared to the previous reporting period 2011/2012-2014. MPI attributes the lift in part to an increase in animal and plant production. More positively, the report indicates a drop in sales of three classes of antibiotics that are considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be of highest priority and critical importance to human health (the third and fourth generation cephalosporins; fluoroquinolones and macrolides). However sales of the class aminoglycosides, mostly used in horticulture and classed by WHO as “critically important”, continued to increase during the two years. Penicillin and bacitracin sales also increased, while most other antibiotic class sales decreased. ¬†Aminoglycoside sales, almost entirely to the kiwifruit industry for treatment of Psa, lifted during the five years. The increase was in part due to the subsequent increase in land used for kiwifruit growing, the report said.