The latest ESVAC report shows that 31 European countries (including the UK) have collectively reduced sales of veterinary antibiotics for food producing animals by 30.7 % since 2017. The UK is now the joint 7th lowest user of antibiotics in food-producing animals.
The successes of preventive measures and more holistic animal husbandry practices over the past decade are continuously reflected in the decreasing trends shown in the European Medicines Agency’s annual ESVAC report. The latest report with 2022 sales data, shows that veterinary antibiotic sales have decreased 53% on average across the EU, UK and EEA, hitting the 2030 Farm to Fork strategy target at the halfway mark.
Reflecting on discussions during the annual AMR awareness-raising week, EPRUMA Chair, Cat McLaughlin, stated: “As EPRUMA, we insist on the widely accepted principles of “prevention is better than cure” and “as little as possible, as much as necessary” when it comes to antibiotic use. Protecting animal health through preventive means, ensuring holistic care, and using antibiotics only when necessary, is the best way to reduce the need for antibiotic treatment.
“Setting targets and collecting data is a necessary part of addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. As disease situations and practices vary across countries whether for human, plant or animal health, such actions must also be underpinned by enhanced surveillance of use, what diseases are being treated and where are antibiotics needed. Together with promotion of preventive measures and hygiene control, such data collection can offer greater clarity as to what actions can be most effective for addressing resistance development.”
The full ESVAC Report can be viewed here: Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 31 European countries in 2022 – Trends from 2010 to 2022 – Thirteenth ESVAC report (europa.eu)