22 November 2022
Last Friday, the European Medicines Agency published its 12th report on the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC). The report covers data from 31 countries for 2021.
The report shows that sales of antimicrobials for use in food-producing animals in Europe fell considerably since 2011 underlining the commitment of the whole animal health sector to sustainable agriculture and responsible use of antimicrobials in the European Union.
The great efforts done by the animal health sector over the last years, which include the implementation of best practices that improve health and welfare of animals and minimise disease are paid off with a decrease of 47% of the overall sales of veterinary antimicrobials between 2011 and 2021, in the 25 countries across Europe that provided data during this period. A decreasing trend is also seen for the Critically Important Antibiotics, classified by EMA in the AMEG Category B, especially the sales of polymyxins (colistin) which reduced by 80 % between 2011-2021.
The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) welcomes the report and its results. It shows the animal health sector continues to be on the right way, namely being committed to combatting AMR in a ‘One Health’ approach and following scientific evidence. To be effective, coordinated action towards prudent and judicious use of antibiotics is needed in both animals and people. To mark European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2022, the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) highlighted their continuous commitment to spearhead the fight against antimicrobial resistance together – see special press release of last week .
For the first time, the ESVAC report also reports on the Farm to Farm goal: reducing antimicrobial sales in agriculture and aquaculture by 50% in 2030.
They conclude that one third of this overall reduction target has so far been met.
FVE, together with EPRUMA, has been proactively promoting best practices on responsible use, awareness campaigns, guidelines, and policy papers. FVE is delighted that the whole animal health sector in the European Union is working together to ensure good health and welfare.
The new Veterinary Medicines Regulation will implement further measures to promote prudent use of antimicrobials. One of the actions will be to expand monitoring to use data. Reporting on antimicrobial use per species will start from 2024 for pigs, poultry and veal calves, by 2027 for all food-producing animals and by 2030 for all animals and will allow for getting a better insight into the needs for antibiotic use per animal species. Whilst heading towards the Farm to Fork goal for more sustainable food systems, we continue to transform EU to the best practice region worldwide.