AnimalhealthEurope welcomes Parliament’s recognition of efforts to ensure environmental safety of veterinary pharmaceuticals

Following the European Parliament adoption of the Motion for a Resolution on a strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment, AnimalhealthEurope is pleased to see key aspects of veterinary medicine use and authorisation processes positively recognised.

In particular, we welcome the clear mention that the licensing process for veterinary medicines includes an environmental safety assessment as part of the authorisation procedure. This assessment has been in place since the early 1990s in Europe and means that a negative environmental benefit-risk assessment can be grounds for refusing the authorisation of a veterinary medicine. Environmental safeguards have been further strengthened via the new EU Regulation on Veterinary Medicinal Products, which entered into force in early 2019. We also support the renewed basis in this Regulation for Member States to establish and promote national schemes for the correct disposal of veterinary medicines.

We also welcome the repeated recognition given to efforts in the veterinary sector as regards monitoring of antibiotic sales for veterinary use. Published earlier this year, the 2019 European Court of Auditors report on AMR had reported on the progress made, highlighting a 20% decrease of antibiotic use in animals in Europe over an initial five-year reporting period, a decrease which is now at 32% for a majority of member states as reported in 2019 (ESVAC). Hand-in-hand with this recognition, we also see strong support by the Parliament for Europe-wide efforts to promote vaccination as a disease prevention measure, therefore improving animal health and reducing the need to use pharmaceuticals.

With the European Green Deal as the cornerstone of all EU policies moving forward, the animal health industry stands ready to support future initiatives in the field of the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals that are both science-driven and holistic in nature. “We stand with the European Parliament to ensure that access to medicines for Europe needs to remain at the forefront of our thoughts, with due regard for the prudent use of these essential products”, said AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General Roxane Feller.

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