European Antibiotic Awareness Day

The animal health sector’s successful approach to reducing the need for antibiotic use

18/11/2021

The theme of this year’s antibiotic awareness day is: ‘In times of COVID-19, don’t forget about antimicrobial resistance.’ With the weight of both public health and animal health always top of mind, the animal health sector can safely say that AMR is never forgotten. A vigorous adoption of our duty to ensure the Responsible Use of antibiotics in animals will help to preserve their efficacy for animals and people alike.

“Antibiotics are a precious resource for protecting our collective health, so we never wane from continuing awareness-raising efforts, working together to ensure good antibiotic stewardship, and supporting legislative updates that cement in law our principle of only using antibiotics as little as possible, but as much as necessary. The outcomes of these efforts combined are measurable, and they must continue,” said Roxane Feller, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General

Efforts made by Europe’s animal sector and the reduction in antibiotic use to date are recognised by EU policymakers, and the confidence that further progress can be made as the new rules on veterinary medicines come into force in January 2022 is welcomed by everyone involved.

“Further progress will come by ensuring that Europe’s vets and farmers can better protect animals from the threat of disease, by identifying health issues earlier and by treating them quickly and appropriately. This requires maximising the long-term and preventative health benefits of approaches such as: regular vaccination; appropriate nutrition; antiparasitics use; biosecurity measures; monitoring for signs of ill health; and availing of diagnostic tools. Further progress will also come when all parties join the animal health sector in acting at all times on the principle that antibiotics should only ever be used when necessary,” concluded Roxane Feller.

The Europe animal health sector is not working alone on these efforts as our global association HealthforAnimals set out a Roadmap to Reducing the Need for Antibiotics in animals two years ago with concrete actions to be taken on a global level by 2025. The Roadmap is unique across the health industries for setting measurable targets and our member companies have contributed to these actions which are all reported as well on track in the progress report published today.