GVR Report cover Europe Veterinary Antibiotics Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Europe Veterinary Antibiotics Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Animal Type (Cattle, Poultry), By Drug Class (Macrolides, Penicillins), By Dosage Form (Oral Solution, Oral Powder), And Segment Forecasts, 2022 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-988-4
  • Number of Report Pages: 180
  • Format: PDF, Horizon Databook
  • Historical Range: 2017 - 2020
  • Forecast Period: 2022 - 2030 
  • Industry: Healthcare

Report Overview

The Europe veterinary antibiotics market size was valued at USD 950 million in 2021 and is estimated to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.59% from 2022 to 2030. Increasing animal health concerns, focus on animal-only antibiotics, strategies implemented by key companies, and initiatives to promote the prudent use of antibiotics are some of the key drivers of this industry. Vetoquinol, one of the leading players, advocates for the rational use of veterinary antibiotics via various national and international events as well as R&D of products that minimize the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Similar initiatives are expected to propel the industry growth.

 U.K. veterinary antibiotics market size, by animal type, 2020 - 2030 (USD Billion)

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the growth due to several challenges, such as logistical inefficiencies, dampened demand, and lack of access to veterinary care. The industry was mainly impacted during 2020 as a result of lockdowns and social distancing measures. However, it has been gradually recovering since 2021. In Q1 of 2020, Elanco, for example, reported a 10% decline in sales due to the public health emergency. The pandemic created working capital pressures across the company’s commercial value chain while adversely affecting product demand. The impact, however, varied across companies. Zoetis, for instance, reported a 13% higher revenue during its Q3 2020 compared to 2019.

Overall, animal health companies implemented corrective and preventive measures to ensure business continuity. The industry is characterized by a major restraining factor—initiatives to curb the use of antibiotics in animals to reduce antimicrobial resistance in humans. After the implementation of restrictions on the use of antibiotics by the EMA, the use of antibiotics in veterinary clinics and hospitals in Europe has declined over the past few years. For instance, according to a survey conducted by AniCura (Mars, Inc.), one of the leading veterinary care providers in Europe, the use of antibiotics was reduced by almost 50% across the company’s veterinary healthcare facilities.

These include AniCura’s 350 veterinary hospitals in 13 EU countries. According to a report published by the U.K. Veterinary Medicines Directorate in 2021, the country has observed a decline in antibiotic use in the livestock sector over the past 6 years and is continuing to fall. In 2021, the U.K. reported a consecutive 6 years of veterinary antibiotic use decline, which accounted for a total reduction of 79% since 2014. Despite the limiting factor, the industry is expected to show notable growth over the forecast period owing to drivers, such as increasing focus on animal-only antibiotics or ionophores and the development of safer antibiotics.

Ionophores are a special class of animal-only antibiotics developed specifically for animal use. Due to their animal-only mode-of action, designation, and activity spectrum, their use is not considered to cause any major risk of antibiotic resistance among human pathogens. Major players in the industry have already shifted their focus to animal-only antibiotics, as a measure to address antibiotic resistance while protecting animal health. For instance, Elanco introduced a global antibiotic stewardship plan, which focuses on reducing shared-class antibiotics and increasing the production of animal-only antibiotics. In 2021, Elanco’s revenue from animal-only antibiotics increased by 18% and represented 14% of its total revenue.

Animal Type Insights

On the basis of animal types, the market has been further segmented into pigs, cattle, sheep & goats, poultry, and others. The cattle animal type segment dominated the industry in 2021 and accounted for the maximum share of more than 27.55% of the overall revenue. The others segment is estimated to grow at the fastest CAGR over the forecast years. The others segment comprises companion animals, such as dogs, cats, and horses among others. The key factors attributing to the growth of the segment include increasing pet health concerns, growing pet expenditure, and humanization of pets. Virbac, for example, launched an antibiotic for dogs called Eradia in Europe in 2019.

Increased consumption of beef and dairy products is a major factor contributing to the high share of the cattle segment. In 2022, milk output in 27 Member States of the European Union is anticipated to reach 150.45 Million Metric Tons (MMT), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The high consumption of animal protein, dairy products, and beef makes it imperative to monitor the safety of food sources and treat animal diseases in time with suitable medicine. Virbac’s ruminant segment, for instance, witnessed a 10.2% growth in sales during 2021. This was on account of its food supplements, antibiotics, and parasiticide ranges.

Drug Class Insights

On the basis of drug classes, the segment has been further categorized into tetracyclines, penicillins, sulfonamides, macrolides, trimethoprim, lincosamides, polymyxins, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, pleuromutilins, and other drug class. The penicillin drug class segment dominated the overall industry in 2021 and accounted for the maximum share of more than 24.90% of the overall revenue. According to EMA, of the overall veterinary antimicrobial active ingredient sales in 2020, penicillins accounted for 31.1%, and its sales were estimated to be higher than the sales of tetracyclines in 2019 and 2020.

Nordic countries and Switzerland have reported a higher proportion of veterinary penicillin sales, of which β-lactamase-sensitive penicillin accounted for the majority of the penicillin sold. Macrolides are projected to attain fastest growth rate from 2022 to 2030 owing to notably higher effectiveness against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Macrolides are used to treat local and systemic bacterial infections, including bacterial enteritis, metritis, urinary tract infections, upper respiratory tract infections, arthritis, and pyodermatitis. Generally, macrolides are considered a better alternative to penicillin to treat staphylococcal and streptococcal infections. They are also regarded as an active antibiotic against a few rickettsiae and mycoplasms.

Dosage Form Insights

On the basis of dosage forms, the industry is categorized into oral powder, oral solution, injection, and other dosage forms. The oral solution segment led the industry in 2021 and accounted for the maximum share of more than 40.45% of the overall revenue. Oral liquids or solutions are among the easiest dosage forms of veterinary antibiotics to develop and use. Most veterinary antibiotics used in food-producing animals are oral concentrated solutions that are dispensed directly in drinking water and later proportionated into farms’ water lines.

 Europe veterinary antibiotics market share, by dosage form, 2021 (%)

A major advantage of oral solutions in veterinary usage is that even the sick or unhealthy animals who may not prefer consuming food would mostly drink water. Thus, contributing to the high segment share. The other dosage forms segment comprises oral pastes, tablets or capsules, sprays, etc. This segment is estimated to grow at the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. According to EMA, the overall sales of antibiotic tablets that are used for companion animals were estimated at 70.4 tonnes in 2020; of which, France topped the list with 16.5 tonnes of antibiotic tablet sales. Antibiotic tablets are generally solid and are solely provided for companion animal usage.

Country Insights

The U.K. held more than 12% of the overall market revenue in 2021. The high share can be attributed to the presence of key players, the deployment of strategic initiatives by leading companies, and the rising prevalence of diseases in animals. Key companies, such as Chanelle Pharma, and Dechra Pharmaceuticals plc., are headquartered in the U.K. These companies have a comprehensive portfolio of antibiotic products for animals. Dechra, for instance, entered the food animal products segment in 2012 with the majority of its segment sales accounting for antibiotics sold primarily in Europe.

Poland is estimated to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast years. The rapid growth can be attributed to the presence of a notable animal population pool in the country and the use of antibiotics in livestock. Poland had about 6.27 million cattle in 2020. The country produces about 12 million tons of cow milk, annually, making it the fifth-largest producer of milk in the Europe region. It is also projected that Poland’s improving economic situation will further boost the demand for animal health products in the region. Virbac attributed 25% growth in the sales of its bovine antibiotics among others to Poland during 2021.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The industry is highly competitive. Companies are increasingly adopting various strategies, such as mergers & acquisitions, R&D, geographic expansion, partnerships, sales & marketing activities, and the launch of products, to grow in the industry. For instance, Dechra has several antibiotic products in its R&D pipeline at various phases. Its antibiotic for cattle and pigs was in the registration phase in 2021 while its antibiotic for pigs was in the research phase. This is expected to boost the company’s market position in the coming years. The launch of Tulissin by Virbac in Europe in January 2021 expanded the company’s portfolio. Tulissin is a tulathromycin-based antibiotic indicated for respiratory diseases in cattle and swine. Some of the key players in the Europe veterinary antibiotics market include:

  • Merck & Co., Inc.

  • Ceva

  • Zoetis

  • Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

  • Elanco

  • Vetoquinol S.A.

  • Virbac

  • Calier

  • Bimeda, Inc.

  • Prodivet pharmaceuticals SA/NV

Europe Veterinary Antibiotics Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


The market size value in 2022

USD 0.99 billion

The revenue forecast in 2030

USD 1.31 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 3.6% from 2022 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2020

Forecast period

2022 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2022 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Animal type, drug class, dosage form, country

Regions covered


Country scope

Germany; U.K.; the Netherlands; Belgium; Denmark; France; Italy; Spain; Hungary; Poland; Portugal; Romania

Key companies profiled

Merck & Co., Inc.; Ceva; Zoetis; Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH; Elanco; Vetoquinol S.A.; Virbac; Calier; Bimeda, Inc.; Prodivet pharmaceuticals SA/NV

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts’ working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Europe Veterinary Antibiotics Market Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth at the regional and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2030. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the Europe veterinary antibiotics market report on the basis of animal type, drug class, dosage form, and country:

Europe Veterinary Antibiotics Market Segmentation

  • Animal Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Pigs

    • Cattle

    • Sheep & Goats

    • Poultry

    • Others

  • Drug Class Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Tetracyclines

    • Penicillins

    • Sulfonamides

    • Macrolides

    • Trimethoprim

    • Lincosamides

    • Polymyxins

    • Aminoglycosides

    • Fluoroquinolones

    • Pleuromutilins

    • Other Drug Class

  • Dosage Form Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Oral Powder

    • Oral Solution

    • Injection

    • Other Dosage Forms

  • Country Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Germany

    • U.K.

    • The Netherlands

    • Belgium

    • Denmark

    • France

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Hungary

    • Poland

    • Portugal

    • Romania

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