Today, the European Parliament has just adopted a new legislative framework for veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed, which are a step forward in preventing the rise in antibiotic resistance.
Under this package of new legislation, the systematic preventive use of antibiotics in animal feed will be prohibited. This will also apply to imported foodstuffs. The use of antibiotics on an entire group of animals will only be allowed if disease is diagnosed by a vet and only in the event of a high risk of contamination of the herd.
Molly Scott Cato, Greens/EFA substitute on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, comments:
"We are delighted that our long battle to tackle the contribution of the farming sector to antibiotic resistance has at last been successful. Antibiotic resistance is a major risk to human and animal health and threatens us all. By prohibiting the systematic preventative feeding of antibiotics to farmed animals and ending the use of last-resort antibiotics for animals, we can ensure that these drugs that are an essential tool of modern medicine are available and effective when we need them.
"The restrictions on antibiotic use will also challenge the factory farming model where animal suffer appalling conditions and are packed together in unhealthy conditions. Without the routine use of antibiotics farmers will need to adopt better farming practices that will improve the life of farm animals across the EU. This is a major victory for public health and for animal welfare."
These three regulations, resulting from "trilogue" negotiations between the three EU institutions, should be adopted by the Council before the end of this year and enter into force by 2022 at the latest.