MEPs take toughest stance to date on antibiotics in farming

MEPs, voting in the European Parliament (EP) yesterday, have toughened their stance against the use of antibiotics in farming, calling for a raft of measures to restrict the use of existing antimicrobial drugs and backing the development of new antibiotics.

French MEP, Françoise Grossetête, who led the EP debate, declared that it was “high time we took energetic measures” and grasped the antibiotics problem at its roots.

“The fight against antibiotic resistance must start on farms,” said Ms Grossetête (pictured above). “We wish to prohibit the purely preventive use of antibiotics, restrict collective treatment to very specific cases, prohibit the veterinary use of antibiotics that are critically important for human medicine and put an end to online sales of antibiotics, vaccines and psychotropic substances.

“Thanks to these measures, we hope to reduce the amounts of antibiotics found on consumers’ plates.”

She was quick to add, however, that such actions should not be used to reduce the “therapeutic arsenal available to vets” adding that it is now “absolutely necessary” to encourage research and innovation in this sector.

MEPs duly voted to “open negotiations” with the European Council, with the aim of reaching a first reading agreement on their antibiotics proposals.

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