Experts have suggested veterinary antibiotics are being used more responsibly after details of a 15% decrease in sales were published by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Specifically, the report revealed a 15% drop in sales of animal antibiotics between 2010 and 2012 in Europe.

Sales data is collected annually as part of the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) project – a cooperation between EU authorities organised by the EMA.

As news of antibiotic resistance spreads, the decrease was welcomed by officials who claim it is an encouraging sign of responsible use of antibiotics in animals.

David Mackay, head of the EMA’s division on veterinary medicines, said: “These latest figures, which suggest a positive trend in terms of the responsible use of antibiotics in animals in Europe, are highly welcome.

“However, the report also shows scope for further decrease. Measures to promote the rational use of antibiotics in animals need to continue as part of the European Commission’s action plan against antimicrobial resistance.”

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