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THE European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended that consideration should be given to the introduction of legal tools to restrict the off-label use of antibiotics in animals if a significant risk to public health is identified.
This recommendation is one of a number made by the agency in advice it has submitted to the European Commission (EC) on the impact of the use of antibiotics in animals on public and animal health and measures to manage the possible risk to humans. The advice, which was published last month, was developed by an interdisciplinary expert group following a request from the EC and is intended to inform the Commission's action plan to combat the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As well as giving advice on risk mitigation measures, the EMA also advises on the classification of antibiotics that have been deemed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as critically important for use in humans and makes recommendations on the authorisation of new veterinary antibiotics.
Discussing risk mitigation measures, the EMA recommends that decreasing overall antimicrobial consumption in animal production in the EU should …