Time to re-think the use of antimicrobials in animals
Experts from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have reviewed the measures taken in the EU to reduce antimicrobials use in animals and are stressing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. According to the findings, successful strategies follow an integrated, multifaceted approach which takes into account the local livestock production system and involves all relevant stakeholders — from governments to farmers.
Control strategies that have been important drivers for change include the setting of national targets to reduce antimicrobial use. However, there is also a need to re-think the livestock system by implementing farming practices that prevent the introduction and spread of disease.
In February, the EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will publish their annual report on the levels of antimicrobial resistance in food, animals and humans across the EU and by the end of 2017, the three agencies will propose a list of indicators enabling risk managers to monitor the reduction of antimicrobial resistance and the use of antimicrobials in humans, food-producing animals and food.