EPRUMA disappointed at ENVI Committee’s rejection of science and lack of regard for animal health and welfare

Brussels, 14 June 2022: EPRUMA was disappointed to see members of the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee reject the scientific assessment of the European agencies.

In a misguided bid to protect the use of antibiotics for human use and stem the tide of antimicrobial resistance development, a group of ENVI MEPs approved on 14 June an Objection to the Commission Implementing Act designating antimicrobials reserved for humans. The draft Implementing Act, which was published in April this year, follows the robust scientific advice of the European Medicines Agency and is fully compatible with the aim and content of the Delegated Act establishing the criteria for designating reserve antimicrobials as approved by the European Parliament plenary in October 2021.

Overlooking the fact that this Act goes together with a stringent set of legal provisions to fight AMR in the new regulation on veterinary medicines, misinterpreting the WHO recommendations*, and sticking to outdated beliefs about misuse of antibiotics in the animal sector, this objection once again highlights the disregard for EU scientific advice by a number of MEPs in the ENVI Committee. It also brings to light serious concerns as to whether the objection is fully understood by supporting MEPs, as it is incomprehensible as to what scientific reasoning could support off-label use of human antimicrobials instead of the authorised veterinary products, which are developed especially for distinct animal species with the necessary controls for public health and food safety.

EPRUMA reiterates these concerns before the objection is taken to plenary next week (23 June). Calling to revise previously agreed decisions by the European Parliament will only serve to postpone measures on addressing AMR further. We also recall that massive efforts have been made by the animal sector over the last decade which has seen a reduction of sales of antibiotics on the animal side of over 43% on average since 2011, with continued reductions in the use of high priority antimicrobials.

EPRUMA remains committed to further promoting the responsible use of antibiotics, as part of the veterinarians’ toolbox, and to fighting antimicrobial resistance through a One Health approach that looks to the equal protection of human, animal and environmental health.

* The WHO acknowledges that animal health should be considered before applying controls, and recommends the list set out by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) is to be given equal consideration. 

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Contact:  EPRUMA secretariat – info@epruma.eu

Notes for editors:

EPRUMA is a multi-stakeholder platform linking best practice with animal health and public health. It aims to ensure best practice through responsible use of medicines in the prevention and control of animal diseases.

EPRUMA partners:

  • Access VetMed: European Group for Generic Veterinary Products
  • AnimalhealthEurope: The voice of the animal medicines industry
  • COPA-COGECA: European Farmers and Agri-Cooperatives
  • Diagnostics for Animals
  • FECAVA: Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations
  • FEFAC: European Feed Manufacturers Federation
  • FESASS: European Federation for Animal Health and Sanitary Security
  • FVE: Federation of Veterinarians of Europe

Associate partners (National Responsible Use platforms):

  • AMCRA: Centre for Expertise on Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance in Animals (Belgium)
  • RUMA: Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (United Kingdom)
  • RUMA Companion Animal and Equine (United Kingdom)
  • SDa: Veterinary Medicines Institute (The Netherlands)
  • VETRESPONSABLE: Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals (Spain)