The British Veterinary Association has welcomed the European Commission’s Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, but expressed concern that the commission has given only qualified support for new antimicrobials for veterinary use.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the European Commission’s Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), but expressed concern that the Commission has given only qualified support for new antimicrobials for veterinary use.

The Action Plan was launched today (Thursday) on the eve of European Antibiotic Awareness Day. It sets out 12 actions to:

  • Carl Padgett, BVA president 2011/2012Improve awareness raising on the appropriate use of antimicrobials
  • Strengthen EU law on veterinary medicines and on medicated feed
  • Introduce recommendations for prudent use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine, including follow-up reports
  • Strengthen infection prevention and control in hospitals, clinics, etc.
  • Introduce legal tools to tighten prevention and control of infections in animals in the new EU Animal Health Law
  • Promote unprecedented collaboration to bring new antimicrobials to patients
  • Promote efforts to analyse the need for new antibiotics in veterinary medicine
  • Develop and/or strengthen multilateral and bilateral commitments for the prevention and control of AMR
  • Strengthen surveillance systems on AMR and antimicrobial consumption in human medicines
  • Strengthen surveillance systems on AMR and antimicrobial consumption in  animal medicines
  • Reinforce and co-ordinate research
  • Improve communication on AMR to the public.

BVA president Carl Padgett said: “There is much to be applauded in this action plan. In particular the BVA supports the calls for more and better coordinated research, more responsible use of antimicrobials in human and veterinary medicine, and the development of diagnostic tools to quickly and accurately identify the right drug for the right bug.

The European Commission has launched a 12-point action plan on antimicrobial resistance.“The use of antimicrobials in the treatment and control of animal diseases is essential and the BVA supports the strong messages in this plan. Any option for managing AMR must be firmly rooted in sound scientific assessment of the risk.

“While the report recognises the difficulties that have led to the hampering of research into new antimicrobials for veterinary use, we are concerned that there is only qualified support from the Commission for the development of these new medicines for animal use.”

Mr Padgett said that research into new antimicrobials should be supported in both human and veterinary medicine, but claimed that a more predictable regulatory environment needed to be created in order to encourage new products for animals to be brought to the market.

He concluded: “While the BVA supports the need for a new regulatory framework, any new regulations must not impede the ability of veterinary surgeons to prescribe and dispense medicines according to their clinical judgement.”

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