Is there a difference between preventative use (prophylaxis) of antibiotics, and growth promotion?
Yes. Preventative use of antibiotics (prophylaxis) is the administration of an antibiotic to healthy animals at risk of a specific infection(s) or in a specific situation where a bacteria caused infection or disease is likely to occur if the drug is not administered, with an appropriate dose and for a limited duration. The Veterinary Medicinal Products (VMP) containing antimicrobial agents should only be used on the prescription of a veterinarian. Use of antibiotics for growth promotion is where it is administered with the purpose of increasing the rate of weight gain and/or the efficiency of feed utilisation in animals by other than purely nutritional means. The term does NOT apply to the use of antibiotics for the specific purpose of prophylactic, metaphylactic or therapeutic use, even when an incidental growth response may be obtained. This definition is in line with the definition developed by Codex Alimentarius in CAC/RCP 61-2005.