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Antimicrobial resistance
MEPs vote to ban prophylactic use of antibiotics in animals

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MEMBERS of the European Parliament's Environment and Public Health Committee (ENVI) have voted to support a ban on the collective and preventive antibiotic treatment of animals.

During a meeting on February 17, MEPs on the committee discussed a report on the European Commission's draft proposal for a regulation on veterinary medicinal products, which was introduced by the Commission in September 2014. The report, prepared by Françoise Grossetête, a French MEP, welcomed the Commission's draft regulation, describing it as ‘a move in the right direction’, but said that ‘nonetheless, the Commission has not gone far enough on some points and the draft contains a number of loopholes’. The proposed regulation, the report said, ‘should be much more ambitious in its measures relating to antibacterial resistance and should, in particular, provide clear definitions on the different kinds of treatment (curative, control and preventative) and ban the prophylactic use of antibiotics’.

The report, which was supported in the committee by 60 votes to two, put forward a number of suggested amendments to the draft text proposed by the European Commission. These included amendments to clearly define the conditions under which veterinary professionals would be permitted to prescribe and sell antibiotics. ‘Without suggesting that the two elements should be split apart, which would pose huge practical difficulties, it would seem that there is a need to define the notion of “animals under their care”,’ the report said. The term needed to be clarified, it said, to allow for the best possible regulation of sales of antibiotics by professionals entitled to prescribe them.

‘With these new …

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