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veterinarians
Veterinarians play a key role in reducing the use of medicin and medicated feed.

Epruma partners reiterate the need for on-the-ground action to ensure adherence to guidelines on veterinary medicines and medicated feed. The organisation also emphasizes the key role that veterinarians, regular veterinary visits, and clinical assessments play for the health and welfare of farm and companion animals in this respect.

Promotion

The European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals (Epruma) actively promotes best practices for responsible use of medicines in animals. The organisation published best-practice guidelines for the use of antibiotics, vaccines and anthelmintics in animals. Following the ongoing implementation process of the new EU regulations (Regulations 2019/6 and 2019/4) the platform is addressing the importance of the role of veterinarians in reaching those goals.

Supervision

In particular, veterinary supervision and care through the implementation of regular veterinary visits on farms as foreseen by EU rules on transmissible animal diseases (Regulation 2016/429) is a welcome recognition of the important role of veterinarians. They can act as stewards for responsible antibiotic use in addressing antibiotic resistance.

Perscription

“In Europe antibiotics are only ever used following the examination, diagnosis and prescription by a veterinarian. Greater recognition of this reality is a welcome addition for policy discussions around the use of antibiotics in animals,” said Epruma Chair Steve Hallahan.

Tools

Antibiotics remain valuable tools to treat infectious bacterial diseases. They are essential for safeguarding the health and welfare of both farm and companion animals.

On farms the administration of antibiotics should be complementary to good farm-management practices, adequate nutrition and a properly designed animal health plan. This multidisciplinary approach requires expertise in many domains. This can be provided by veterinarians, as well as experts in animal nutrition, biosecurity, housing et cetera. The administration of antibiotics should always follow the general principle of ‘as little as possible, as much as necessary’ as advised by the veterinarian, says Epruma.

Key role

EPRUMA partners remain committed to promoting the key role of veterinary oversight and supporting transparency of data on the use of veterinary antibiotics to determine trends and identify possible risk factors so that they can be addressed appropriately.

Also read: MP’s look at antibiotics from the wrong perspective

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