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veterinary antibiotics
Over 40 percent of decline in sales in veterinary antibiotics was realised in Europe.

The European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) reports an overall decline (since 2011) in sales of antimicrobials for animal health purposes. The overall decline is 43.2 percent.

A noticeable decrease in sales for some of the highest-selling countries was identified. The sales numbers were collected over the years 2019 and 2020.

Classes

Responsible Use efforts not only extend to the amounts of antibiotics used for animal health purposes. The use also addresses the classes of antibiotics used. The report also outlines continued decreases in sales of veterinary antibiotics regarded as medically important: 32.8 percent for 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins; 76.5 percent for polymyxins, 12.8 percent for fluoroquinolones and 85.4 percent for other quinolones.

Management

“This is the result of more than a decade of efforts to increase disease prevention and improve animal health management. This can be done through better hygiene practices, biosecurity measures, vaccine use and nutrition,” explains Roxanne Feller, secretary general of AnimalHealthEurope.

According to Feller, any variations between member states in the outcomes of the report should now be analysed in a comprehensive manner. “Moving forward we need to know more than just the amounts of antibiotics used for animals. We need to understand why they’re used, what infections they’re needed for, and what we can do further to reduce the need.”

Further reduction

AnimalHealthEurope welcomes the further steps to foster more in-depth consideration of veterinary antibiotic use. New EU rules on veterinary medicines come into force in January 2022. These stipulate that sales volumes should be reported by animal species and antimicrobial product. “This will help to gain a better understanding of which interventions could be made to further reduce the need to use antibiotics in animals,” said Feller.

Also read: Epruma: ‘MEP’s look at antibiotics in the wrong way’

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