EPRUMA guidelines on the responsible use of antibiotics for the European Antibiotic Awareness Day

Brussels, 18 November 2019: Since 2005 EPRUMA has been actively promoting best practices for responsible use of medicines in animals and has published two best-practices guidelines for the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals (you can download our guidelines here).

On European Antibiotics Awareness Day EPRUMA partners restate our adherence to these guidelines and continue to promote responsible use of antibiotics in line with the following principles:

  • Veterinary medicines, including antibiotics, need to be used responsibly in order to maintain efficacy and both prevent and minimise adverse reactions.
  • Responsible use is based on a holistic approach of minimising disease which encompasses enhancing knowledge on disease prevention, animal health, animal welfare and husbandry practices.

Many disease conditions can be avoided or minimised by using management practices that significantly reduce exposure to disease-causing bacteria. Good husbandry practices include:

  • Housing: Environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, clean air and bedding, amount of light, etc. should be adapted to the animal’s needs.
  • Biosecurity: Biosecurity measures should be put in place to minimise the potential for introducing disease-causing organisms on the farms.
  • Nutrition: The amount and quality of water and feed provided and, in particular, their nutritional balance and composition should be adequate to meet the nutrition requirements corresponding to the species, sex and physiological stage and help animals cope with pathogens, in particular at certain sensitive physiological stages.

Furthermore, proper monitoring of the animals and keeping records of the observations made is essential for an early diagnosis of conditions affecting the animal’s health or welfare. A well-designed animal health plan, including vaccination programmes, and farmer interactions with veterinarians is a key element for every farm.

Antibiotics remain valuable tools to treat infectious bacterial diseases. They are essential for the continuing health and welfare of animals. The administration of antibiotics should be complementary to good farm-management practices and a properly designed animal health plan.

EPRUMA partners are committed to supporting transparency of the use of veterinary medicines and to share knowledge by developing awareness campaigns on responsible use. We work by the motto that antibiotics should be used ‘as little as possible, as much as necessary’.

 

To find out more about EPRUMA commitments, download our new leaflet !