The EU Parliament has a “golden opportunity” to ban the use of antibiotics for healthy farm animals when a vote takes place today on regulating animal medicines, according to consumer organisation BEUC.
The BEUC has called on the EU Parliament to listen to its long-standing calls for stricter measures and to make sure farmers only give antibiotics to sick animals, not healthy ones.
The BEUC wants stricter measures to cut the overuse of antibiotics, which means the higher the risk of bacteria becoming resistant.
Overuse on farm animals spurs antimicrobial resistance which can spread to humans in a number of ways, including food.
The misuse of antibiotics is one of today’s most challenging health issues.
Monique Goyens, BEUC director general, said: “Antibiotic resistance is a ticking time bomb. The European Parliament has the power to help defuse it tomorrow by preventing farmers from feeding healthy animals with antibiotics.”
“It is becoming clear that this routine practice is fuelling antibiotic resistance and therefore threatens public health. With antibiotic resistance claiming 25,000 lives annually, Europe must act now.”
“Antibiotic resistance is too series a threat to make the headlines today and to be forgotten tomorrow morning. If we do nothing, it could be too late and benign injuries could become deadly again.”
"Antibiotics must remain effective to save the lives of patients who have serious bacterial infections. Europe’s MEPs must restrict and, where necessary, ban the use of medicines in livestock so that they can continue to work in humans.”
“Mapping antibiotics consumption can help support and tackle misuse of antibiotics in farm animals. The Parliament should support an EU-Wide database about why and how antibiotics are used.”
“Today we know how many antibiotics are sold in the EU. But those figures only tell half the story. They do not reveal what animals received which antibiotics and at what dose.”