Amid ongoing concerns over the use of medically important antibiotics given to food-producing livestock, sales of veterinary medicines across Europe dropped by more than 32% between 2011 and 2017, which regulators say is an encouraging sign that campaigns to reduce usage are working.

At issue is the extent to which antibiotics are given to food-producing livestock to prevent and treat disease — a practice that has contributed to an alarming rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans. The problem has not abated, even though the European Union in 2006 banned the use of antibiotics for promoting growth, since bulking up the animals makes them better suited for increased production.

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