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EU law on medicated feed will reduce antibiotic resistance in livestock and humans


16 Mar 2016


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

New rules on medicated feed will harmonise standards across Europe and improve both human and animal health through a more responsible use of medicines, especially antibiotics.

The agriculture committee in the European Parliament today backed a report on the issue from S&D MEP Clara Aguilera. The Parliament will now negotiate a final text with the Council of the EU while ensuring coherence with the recently passed laws on animal health and veterinary medicines.

S&D MEP Clara Aguilera said:

"I welcome the harmonisation and updating of EU rules dating back to 1990. The current directive allows for different national applications which resulted in very uneven application and farmers facing different requirements depending on the country. The new law will be a regulation with the same rules applied across the EU, therefore bringing clarity to manufacturers and a level-playing field for farmers.

"We tried to find the right balance between the fight against antimicrobial resistance – mainly related to the excessive use of antibiotics, which affects both human public health and animal health – and the need for farmers to treat diseased animals.

"Preventative use of antimicrobials should only be allowed to minimise the spread of an infection once the presence of an infectious agent has been confirmed. However, we request that the issue of preventative use of antibiotics should be regulated in the Veterinary Medicinal Products law, in order to address all forms of administering medicines, not just feeds.

"Medicated feed is not the only way to give medicines to groups of animals. They can also be mixed with water or manually sprinkled onto feed by the farmer. However, medicated feed mix is more homogeneous and its dosage more precise in targeting animal diseases. But its manufacture, use and environmental control through waste management must be improved."