How possible is deliberate use of antibiotics for growth promotion?
In the UK, where it is banned, it would be very difficult. For a product to be used at a low, sub-therapeutic dose for the purpose of creating a growth promotion effect would require either the farmer or the vet to breach the rules of use of antibiotics as growth promotion has been banned across the EU since 2006), and this could have a detrimental effect on their careers. It should be noted that for a veterinary medicinal product to be used preventatively, it should be authorised for this indication, as stated in its summary of product characteristics (SPC), thereby limiting which products can be used for this purpose. There is also a shift in the wording of indications listed in SPCs away from prophylactic use to metaphylactic use; which has a defined definition in the EU legislation, thereby providing more of a steer away from using antibiotics unless the consequence of not doing so are detrimental to health and welfare.