New European drive to promote responsible use of veterinary medicines

A new European commitment has been made to promote the responsible use of veterinary medicines, centred on the development of “greater cooperation” between national governments and stakeholders.

The new approach is being led by EPRUMA (European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals) and the Slovak Council Presidency of the EU, who held a joint workshop last week with the aim of “fostering the exchange of information on best practices in responsible veterinary medicine use, including promoting increased dialogues between public authorities and the private sector across the EU”.

The event concluded with all EPRUMA partners signing a declaration to emphasise their commitment to pursuing common objectives.

The workshop included “concrete examples” of how public authorities and stakeholders in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom are implementing best practices on the use of veterinary medicines, including antibiotics.

There was also a call for improved communication towards the general public regarding the use of medicines in animals. This was in response to recent Eurobarometer study results which showed that only 37% of Europeans are aware of the current ban on antibiotic growth promoters in animal feed, while 46% of study participants believe that animals routinely receive antibiotics.

The DG SANTE Head of Unit in charge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), Koen van Dyck, gave the meeting an overview of current European Commission actions in support of the fight against AMR, highlighting the need to pursue efforts to reinforce the One-Health approach by making the EU a best practice region.

He also stressed the need to stimulate research and innovation, develop new antimicrobial drugs, rapid diagnosis tests and vaccines, and to work together to shape global action outside the EU on AMR issues via FAO, OIE and WHO.

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