Today, 15 October 2019, the European Medicines Agency published its 9th report on the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC).

Antimicrobials are very valuable medicines for the treatment of infectious diseases. The downside of using these medicines is the risk that disease agents develop mechanisms to defend themselves against the medicine, making the medicine less effective. In order to keep antimicrobials effective, they should be used carefully and not be overused or misused.

Today’s report highlights a decrease by more than 32% of the overall sales of veterinary antimicrobials between 2011 and 2017, for the 25 countries across Europe that provided data during this period. Special good news in the report is the continuing reduction in use of antimicrobials that are considered as critical for the treatment of human patients. Between 2011 and 2017, sales of polymyxins (colistin) decreased by 66.4 %, 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins decreased by 20.9 %, and fluoroquinolones by 10.3 %.

Since infectious diseases in people and animals are often the same or very similar they can be treated with the same medicines.  In this “One Health” context, it is important to use the medicines prudently in both humans and in animals.

FVE is strongly committed to the “One Health” approach and has taken practical actions to promote responsible use, such as awareness campaigns, guidelines, and policy papers. These FVE initiatives have shown to be effective, as is also recognised in the ‘European Commission Final Overview Report – Measures to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance through the Prudent Use of Antimicrobials in Animals’.

FVE welcomes the report and the impressive results.
FVE congratulates all One Health actors who managed to ensure good health and welfare through responsible use of antimicrobials.

The next goal is to get a better insight in antibiotic use per animal species and the impact on antimicrobial resistance. FVE aims to strengthen disease prevention and to further reduce the need to use of antimicrobials. Special attention will be given to support high usage countries in their efforts.

This ESVAC report covers data from 31 European countries. It confirms the trend in the decreasing use of antimicrobials in animals from previous reports. FVE is an ESVAC partner. Total reduction of sales of veterinary antimicrobials between 2011 and 2017:
– Overall sales -32.5%
– Polymyxins (Colistin) -66.4%
– Third and 4th generation Cephalosporins -20.9%
– Fluoroquinolones -10.3%