Veterinary medicines are an invaluable resource to be used wisely in order to preserve their efficiency, according to EPRUMA, the European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals.

Veterinary medicines are an invaluable resource to be used wisely in order to preserve their efficiency, according to EPRUMA, the European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals.

This statement represents the core message of the group, which met with John Dalli, European commissioner for health and consumer policy, on September 27 to discuss policy initiatives and insist that the responsible use of medicines be an integral part of the European Commission’s “One Health” initiative.

Best-practice framework for the use of antimicrobials in  food-producing animals in the EUEPRUMA was formed in 2005 to stress the importance of the responsible use of veterinary medicines, including antibiotics, both in food-producing animals and pets. It is said to be an unprecedented joint initiative including European vets, farmers, feed manufacturers, animal health and sanitary security specialists, sustainable agriculture specialists, the animal health industry and pharmacists.

Mr Dalli said: “The promotion of animal health and welfare through the responsible use of veterinary medicines is intertwined with the health of Europe’s patients and consumers, and hence an essential component of public health. I am pleased to see such a broad variety of sectors joining forces through EPRUMA to bring a valuable contribution to the European Commission initiative ‘Animals + Humans = One Health’.”

EPRUMA advocates a holistic approach to disease prevention and control by combining biosecurity measures, good housing, appropriate nutrition and regular monitoring of animal health and welfare. It supports the use of tailored herd health plans specific to individual farms to best treat disease and the use of vaccines, as well as the use of medicines according to the instructions.

Declan O’Brien, speaking on behalf of EPRUMA, requested the commission to make Responsible Use a key policy initiative and to collaborate with EPRUMA in communicating its concept: “We need to work together in communicating the EPRUMA concept so that we make a difference on the ground in terms of achieving our common goal to maintain the long-term efficacy of medicines, including antibiotics.”

He added that antibiotics should be used according to the principle of “as little as possible, as much as necessary”.

To communicate on the responsible use of veterinary medicines, EPRUMA has launched a website, which features a brochure on best-practice for the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals available in 8 EU languages, as well as joint initiatives undertaken by EPRUMA at national and European level.

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