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 the European Parliament on Thursday.
In a vote on draft plans to update an EU law on veterinary medicines, MEPs advocate banning collective and preventive antibiotic treatment of animals, and back measures to stimulate research into new medicines.
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.
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.
Both reports were approved by show of hands. MEPs also voted to open negotiations with the Council, with the aim of reaching a first reading agreement on the proposals.
Thursday March 10, 2016/ EP/ European Union.