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Antimicrobial resistance: The European animal health industry calls for science-based policies focusing on Responsible Use

Brussels, 23 October 2023

During the conference – “Farmers and veterinarians together to tackle antimicrobial resistance” - held today under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the International Federation for Animal Health – Europe (IFAH-Europe) called for policies regarding the use of antibiotics in animals to be based soundly on science and for the focus to be on Responsible Use of antibiotics.

“The animal health industry is strongly committed to both public and animal health and we need to be innovative in order to combat disease challenges. The current reform of the regulation on veterinary medicines is a great opportunity to promote innovation in animal health. We call for a predictable, science-based environment that encourages companies to invest both in improving existing antibiotics as well as researching innovative alternatives,” said IFAH-Europe Chairman, Christian Behm.

The animal health industry in Europe advocates that policies on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) should focus on promoting Responsible Use through platforms such as EPRUMA1 and monitoring of use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine through programmes such as ESVAC2, as well as monitoring the development of resistance. The main objective should be to reduce resistance to antibiotics, not simply to reduce antibiotic use. Care should be taken to ensure that any restrictions on the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine do not adversely impact animal health and welfare.

Measures need to be put in place to ensure that each and every use of antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine is responsible. This is vital to ensure their continued use in the future and to safeguard the health and welfare of animals and people alike.

- ENDS - 

1EPRUMA is a multi-stakeholder platform promoting the responsible use of medicines in animals in the EU to maintain efficacy and both prevent and minimise adverse reactions. Follow EPRUMA on twitter: @epruma1

1The ESVAC (European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption) project collects information on how antimicrobial medicines are used in animals across the European Union.

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