To fight the growing resistance of bacteria to today’s antibiotics, the use of existing antimicrobial drugs should be restricted, and new ones should be developed, said Environment and Public Health Committee MEPs on Wednesday. In a vote on draft plans to update an EU law on veterinary medicines, they advocate banning collective and preventive antibiotic treatment of animals, and back measures to stimulate research into new medicines. MEP Françoise Grossetête (EPP, FR) report was approved by 60 votes to 2.
- Veterinary medicines must not under any circumstances serve to improve performance or compensate for poor animal husbandry, say MEPs, who advocate limiting the prophylactic use of antimicrobials (i.e. as a preventive measure, in the absence of clinical signs of infection) to single animals and only when fully justified by a veterinarian.
- Metaphylactic use (i.e. treating a group of animals when one shows signs of infection) must be restricted to clinically-ill animals and to single animals that are identified as being at a high risk of contamination, in order to prevent bacteria from spreading further in the group, they say.
- MEPs urge farm animal owners and keepers to use stocks with suitable genetic diversity, in densities that do not increase the risk of disease transmission, and to isolate sick animals from the rest of the group.
- To help tackle antimicrobial resistance, the revised law would empower the European Commission to designate antimicrobials which are to be reserved for human treatment.
- To encourage research into new antimicrobials, MEPs advocate incentives, including longer periods of protection for technical documentation on new medicines, commercial protection of innovative active substances, and protection for significant investments in data generated to improve an existing antimicrobial product or to keep it on the market.
- In a separate vote, the committee approved by 53 votes to 3 a report by Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu (S&D, RO), amending another law to reflect the fact that centralised marketing authorisation for veterinary medicinal products is being decoupled from that for medicines for humans.
Wednesday February 17, 2016/ PE/ European Union.