Continued focus on Responsible Use of antibiotics recognised in latest ESVAC report

Awareness-raising on better disease prevention and animal health management through improved hygiene practices, biosecurity measures, vaccine use and good nutrition continues to help reduce the need to use antibiotics in animals as demonstrated in the latest ESVAC report.

Overall sales of veterinary antibiotics across Europe continue the downward trend seen over the last few years. In particular, the report notes a decline in the use of antibiotics that are classified as being of critical importance to human health. This is a clear indicator of the progress that can be made through continued and coordinated efforts to raise awareness on reducing the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

The increased responsible use of antibiotics in Europe is recognised as being a result of combined efforts of veterinarians, farmers, the animal health industry and other actors in the livestock sector, alongside EU Member States, the European Commission and EMA.

“We must not rest on our laurels. Although the need to use antibiotics in animals is decreasing in many countries, our overall goal must focus on ensuring a coordinated and continued effort across all countries through the deployment of the wider veterinary toolbox to ensure better animal health. Antibiotics will remain essential to the veterinary toolbox in the future, so preserving their effectiveness for future generations is a collective effort, not achievable by one country or one region alone,” said Roxane Feller, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General.

The progress made in the livestock sector has also been recognised recently in the Review of Progress on Antimicrobial Resistance where the foreword by Lord O’Neill states that in the agricultural sphere, the review team have been positively surprised. The background analysis of the progress report acknowledges that: “In agriculture, international organizations, the private sector, civil society and governments have invested significant resources in awareness-raising campaigns directed to the full value chain – from farmers to consumers.”

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