With sales of veterinary antibiotics decreased by 53% on average across Europe since 2011, it is clear that the animal sector is now well-versed in good antibiotic stewardship, Animal Health Europe has said.
According to the latest report from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), sales of antibiotics have once again decreased.
This shows, Animal Health Europe said, a clear understanding from vets, farmers and other animal guardians of the need to use antibiotics only when necessary in order to protect their efficacy for both people and animals.
The focus of European antibiotic awareness day this year is on stepping up EU actions to combat antimicrobial resistance in a one-health approach and what actions are needed to achieve them.
This recommendation largely focuses on introducing targets for human health and reiterates the 50% reduction target for veterinary use set in the Farm to Fork strategy.
Progress is already made in the animal sector, with the EMA’s report showing that in four years, member states have already reached just over half of the reduction target set for 2030.
Commenting on the progress, Animal Health Europe secretary general Roxane Feller said: "Year on year, it is reassuring to see the responsible use of antibiotics for animal health reflected in the sales data collected by the EMA.
"We will continue to contribute to data collection within the revised reporting system, which will cover both sales and use from this year on," she said.
Just like disease, resistant bacteria does not recognise borders. With this in mind, the European animal health sector works together with the global association HealthforAnimals to ensure good antibiotic stewardship around the world.
Its global roadmap to reducing the need for antibiotics in animals, of which AnimalhealthEurope is a signatory, sets out concrete actions to be taken by 2025 and the latest progress roadmap shows very positive progress with, for example, 71 new vaccines brought to market, with close to half for bacterial disease and 1.9m animal health caregivers trained in responsible use.