European Parliament Resolution about antimicrobial resistance

(29.10.2011) The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of a Motion for resolution on antimicrobial resistance.

Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) The European veterinary profession, embodied by FVE, appreciates and shares many of the European Parliament’s concerns about the loss of effectiveness of valuable, in many cases lifesaving antimicrobial substances.

FVE is pleased to see that European Parliament has taken on board several suggestions made by FVE and other stakeholders to consider antimicrobial resistance as a “”One Health issue” affecting the health and welfare of people and animals.

The Motion clearly recognizes the need for effective antimicrobials in the medical field as well as in the veterinary field. In line with the Motion from the Parliament, FVE strongly promotes good animal husbandry practices and the prudent use of antimicrobials to reduce the risk for antimicrobial resistance.

However, as pointed out in the Motion, measures should not result in the imposition of restrictions on existing treatment options that are effective.

Moreover FVE strongly advices that any measure to be implemented shall be based on sound science evidence.

FVE does agree that prophylactic use of antimicrobials should not be an easy replacement for insufficient animal husbandry practices, however it would be wrong to force veterinarians under every circumstance to wait until an animal becomes clinically sick before a treatment can be started.

Inevitably this would lead to more animal health and welfare problems and the use of even more antimicrobials.

Moreover FVE stresses that many, if not all, active substances used in veterinary medicine are derived from and used in human medicine (§ 33).

Often they work through the same effect mechanisms. Separating those used in the human field from those in the veterinary field will lead to an absolute shortage of substances available for veterinary use.

Consequently substances that would remain will have to be used more, which will enhance the occurrence of resistance against these substances.

The same applies on the use of “last resort” antibiotics in agriculture (§ 34). These “last resort” medicines have to be available for use in the veterinary field, however they should be subject to stricter conditions, assuring a responsible use.

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