Liberals and Democrats hail historic decision in the fight against antibiotic resistance
ALDE MEP Fredrick Federley is today celebrating after a deal was reached late last night to fight the spread of antibiotic resistance, in particular, the over-use of preventative anti-microbial products in the agricultural sector, which has all too often become a substitute for adequate animal husbandry.
Routine prophylaxis treatment of animals will be banned and limited to single animals in exceptional cases. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is estimated to cause 25 000 human deaths per year in the EU today and 700,000 deaths a year globally.
The legislative reforms agreed yesterday stipulate that veterinarians must issue documented justification in the case of prophylactic or metaphylactic prescription of antimicrobials, which shall be issued only after a clinical examination of an animal. Critical antimicrobials will be reserved for human use.
Commenting, Fredrick Federley MEP said;
"This is a historic decision which will protect animals and humans alike. The reality is that healthy animals should not be given antibiotics. It is vital we stem the flow of unnecessary antibiotics flooding the livestock sector, which accounts for 70 percent of the problem with antimicrobial resistance bacteria. With this decision, a clinical assessment of the animal is required before antibiotics can be prescribed. "
“A large percentage of the antibiotics used in the United States go to animals and not humans. Therefore, it is important that meat imported into the EU be subject to the same stringent requirements as in the EU. "
Notes to editors:
The decision was taken during a trialogue meeting between the European Parliament, the EU Commission and the Council of Ministers. The vote on the trilogue outcome secured by the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee is envisaged for 20 June, while plenary of the entire European Parliament will take place during the September or October I session. EU Member States are supposed to sign off on the agreement during a COREPER meeting on 13 or 15 June.