Today 25 October, MEPs will vote on a new regulation on veterinary medicinal products to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance from animals to humans and to ensure that consumers are not exposed to antibiotic residues in food products and to make sure antibiotics remain effective against infection.
Limiting the use of antibiotics
Under the new rules the preventative use of antimicrobials will be limited to single animals and will be allowed only when justified by a veterinarian and where there is a high infection risk. Collective treatments - treating a whole group of animals when only one is sick - will be permitted only where no suitable alternatives exist and after appropriate justification from a veterinarian.
Certain antimicrobials will be reserved for the treatment of humans
According to the new rules, veterinary medicines should never be used to compensate for poor conditions of animal farming or to make animals grow faster.
EU standards for imports
Trading partners will have to respect EU standards on the use of antibiotics when exporting food products to the EU.
Incentives for research on new antimicrobials will be encouraged to increase competitiveness in the veterinary pharmaceutical sector and to fight antimicrobial resistance.
Animal medicated feed
The rules on veterinary medicinal products are closely linked to another regulation to ban the preventative and collective use of antibiotics in medicated feed that MEPs will also vote on 25 October. In addition, prescriptions for antibiotic medicated feed will have to be always issued by veterinarians following a proper examination. Spanish S&D member Clara Eugenia Aguilera García is the MEP in charge of steering the legislation through Parliament.
In addition to the Parliament, the new rules will also have to be approved by the Council before they can enter into force.
Monday October 22, 2018/ European Parliament/ European Union.