Brussels, 8 April 2016 – The European Medicines Agency has launched its new European Surveillance Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption project’s (ESVAC) vision and strategy document 2016-2020. IFAH-Europe is pleased to note that ESVAC will be looking at the use of antibiotics in different animal species for the first time, which should enable policy-makers to develop better targeted and refined policies to fight AMR (antimicrobial resistance) effectively.
Europe’s animal health industry has always been a strong supporter of the ESVAC project, and we welcome the European Medicines Agency’s consultation process in which we are happy to participate. The ESVAC project has undergone a process of continual development and improvement since its inception in 2009. Increasing the sophistication of the data collection to provide a reasonable estimate of consumption by species is a next important step in this process.
We are strong advocates for the responsible use of antibiotics in farm animals which needs to go hand in hand with excellent hygiene, biosecurity and good husbandry on farms. Despite all these measures however, infectious diseases in animals still naturally occur, and in the interest of the health and well-being of animals, effective antibiotics are vital to treat animals with a bacterial infection. The goal of responsible use ultimately is to come to a use of antibiotics ‘as little as possible, as much as necessary’.
IFAH-Europe strongly believes that the objective of reducing AMR development needs to involve awareness raising of correct use and the elimination of unnecessary and incorrect use of antibiotics, in both animals and people.
AMR is a major challenge for society, and the animal health industry has an important role to play in focussing on both the correct use, i.e. the prescribed course must be completed, and correct dosages which must be given and followed, after diagnosis and under prescription by a veterinarian.