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Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary antibiotics sales data

Sales data are used to estimate the consumption of antibiotics in veterinary medicine. Marketing authorisation holders (MAHs) report their antibiotic sales annually to the Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), which processes and analyses the data. The data cover 100 % of licensed antibiotics.

Sales of antibiotics have continued to decline since 2008. In 2020, the annual decrease was 4.1 % with sales of 28,871 kg. In 2021, the decrease was less marked at 1.6 % (total sales 28,402 kg). The overall decrease since 2012 is 48 % (26,590 kg). This decline is due mainly to lower sales of pharmaceutical premixtures. Since 2018, the antibiotics most frequently sold have been penicillins, followed by sulfonamides and tetracyclines. These three classes are often sold in bulk packs as pharmaceutical premixtures.

In the antibiotic classes of special importance for human medicine, sales of macrolides declined in 2020 and 2021 by around 9 % compared to the previous year. Fluoroquinolone sales were down in 2020 but in 2021 figures returned to 2019 levels. Sales of third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins fell by around 18 % in 2020 but remained stable in 2021.

Sales of antimicrobial substances are declining.

Find the latest results of AMR monitoring systems in Switzerland:Find the latest results of AMR monitoring systems in Switzerland:Find the latest results of AMR monitoring systems in Switzerland:


Veterinary antibiotic use data

Veterinary data on the use of antibiotics for animals in Switzerland was published for the first time in 2022. Since 2019, veterinarians have to report all prescriptions of antibiotics to the Informationssystem für Antibiotika in der Veterinärmedizin (IS ABV). This applies to all animal species: both livestock and companion animals.

This section details the total weight of antibiotics prescribed in Switzerland in 2020. This indicator shows low granularity for details and understanding in antibiotic use. In the coming year, better indicators such as number of treatments, treatment days and DDDvet might be displayed. Any new challenges were faced for this first analysis of data: especially data quality and consistency. As the report presents only the antibiotic consumption data for the year 2020, no trends or tendency could be analysed. In coming years, trends will emerge, allowing a more detailed, precise and accurate understanding of antibiotic consumption dynamics in Switzerland.



This section presents the analyses of 2020 IS ABV data, focusing on cattle, pigs, poultry and small ruminants (sheep and goats).

In 2020, 78.8 % of all antibiotics were prescribed to cattle, including dairy cows and fattening calves. The second highest use of antibiotics was in pigs (13.5 %), followed by small ruminants (1.1 %) and poultry (0.8 %). 5.8 % of all antibiotics used in Switzerland were prescribed to other production animal species.

According to 2020 sales data, penicillin was the main prescribed antibiotic class for all livestock species. This was particularly marked in the poultry sector. Sulfonamides and tetracyclines were the second and third most-used classes. Critical antibiotics account for only a small proportion (4.6 %) of antibiotics prescribed in 2020 in all species. The most represented critical antimicrobial class was macrolides.

* critical antibiotic classes  / Others = diaminopyrimidine derivatives, lincosamides, pleuromutilins and polypeptide antibiotics other than polymyxins

Companion animals

This section presents the analyses of 2020 IS ABV data, focusing on dogs, cats and equines (food production and pets).

The largest proportion of antibiotics prescribed was for horses (62.2 %). However, horses are heavy animals that require a large amount of antibiotic for each prescription. The second highest amount of antibiotics is used in dogs (32.0 %), followed by cats (5.7 %).

The main antibiotic classes prescribed for companion animals are sulfonamides (42.3 %) and penicillins (28.3 %). Equines differ from the other two species in the distribution of the total amount of antibiotic. For equines, the main consumption concerned sulfonamides, diaminopyrimidine derivatives and penicillins. In contrast, for cats and dogs, penicillins, cephalosporins and imidazoles account for the largest proportion of antibiotic consumption in 2020. At 1.8 %, critical antibiotics represent only a small amount of antibiotics prescribed in all species. The most represented critical antimicrobial was fluoroquinolones.

* critical antibiotic classes  / Others = lincosamides, nitrofurans and polymyxins


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