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2015 Call for EU Action on Antimicrobial Use

28 November 2011, at 12:37pm

EU - The European Commission has launched an action plan to fight against misuse of antibiotics detailing 12 concrete actions to be implemented in close cooperation with the Member States.

European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli said: "We need to take swift and determined action if we do not want to lose antimicrobial medicines as essential treatment against bacterial infections in both humans and animals.

"The 12 concrete actions for the next five years could help limit the spread of anti-microbial resistance and help develop new anti-microbial treatment. Their success requires joined efforts from the EU, the Member States, healthcare professionals, industry, farmers and many others."

The Action Plan specifically states that more action should be taken to ensure that antimicrobials are used appropriately in animals.

It also want to improve the monitoring and surveillance of antimicrobial use.

The Commission moves come at a time when a new alliance of Compassion in World Farming, The Soil Association and Sustain has called for the EU to cut the use of antibiotic by 50 per cent by 2015.

The alliance said it is not calling for a total withdrawal of antibiotic treatment of farm animals, simply to use it to treat sick animals, thereby reducing suffering and maintaining good animal welfare.

Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive at Compassion in World Farming says:“Our farm animals in the EU are being routinely treated with prophylactic antibiotics. This indiscriminate over-use means that a world without effective antibiotics for humans is a very real prospect.

“Factory farmed animals are kept in confined, crowded and stressful conditions. All this leads to a suppression of their immune systems, so that factory farming often relies on antibiotics instead, as a compensation method. There are viable, alternative models of good animal health.”

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