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NFU Backs European Approach on Antimicrobials

by 5m Editor
16 May 2011, at 9:27am

EU - MEPs have called for the responsible and prudent use of antimicrobial medicines in food animals, in a resolution adopted by the European Parliament.

They also called for more information to be given to vets and farmers to minimise the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals.

Dawn Howard from the NFU Brussels office said veterinary medicines should be used ‘as little as possible, but as much as necessary’. She added the UK was already leading the way in Europe through its Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) initiative to help educate farmers.

“We are pleased that MEPs listened to our advice and have come out with this sensible resolution.

“Farmers recognise that human health must be the overriding consideration guiding antimicrobial use. Our combined industry efforts are therefore tailored to encourage responsible use of antimicrobials in farm animals in order to reduce any possibility of loss of efficacy in both animal and human treatment,” she said.

“The responsible use of all veterinary medicines in British livestock farming is vital to maintaining our high standards of food safety, animal health and welfare.

“We have been working with RUMA, at both national and EU level to promote the responsible use of antimicrobials and also to make available practical guidelines on the use of antimicrobials in pigs, poultry, cattle and sheep. Guidelines are also available on the responsible use of vaccines.

“We support positive farm health planning, with farmers and vets working together, to ensure the health of the animals on farm.”