May 4, 2011
EU to focus on antimicrobial resistance in 2012
Antimicrobial resistance will be the main concern in particular for pig farmers when Denmark takes over the EU Presidency on January 1, 2012.
The Danish Minister for the Interior and Health and the Danish Minister for Food aim at a common European surveillance programme for antibiotic consumption and a reduced consumption of antibiotics.
The battle against antimicrobial resistance is to be one of the Danish priorities during the Danish EU-Presidency 2012, state the Danish Minister for the Interior and Health, Bertel Haarder, and the Danish Minister for Food, Henrik HÃ¸egh, in a common announcement.
One aim is a common EU surveillance programme for antibiotic consumption and antimicrobial resistance. Another is a reduction of the antibiotic consumption among both humans and animals with focus on the critically important antibiotics, which are essential for the treatment of serious infections.
Danish Minister for the Interior and Health, Bertel Haarder, said, "From an international perspective, Denmark has a low consumption of antibiotics and a limited development of resistance. Globally, including the EU, the consumption of antibiotics for both humans and animals is expanding and we also experience complex problems with antimicrobial resistance in Denmark. Since food and feed trade is international and we travel more and more, resistance problems are not limited by borders. Therefore, antimicrobial resistance is a common problem that we must combat internationally and within the EU."
Danish Food Minister, HÃ¸egh, added "Antimicrobial resistance poses a threat to both human and animal health and we need to focus more on the prevention of this problem. In Denmark, we have taken various initiatives in order to limit the use of antibiotics, and this is why we are among the countries with the lowest consumption of antibiotics and a limited development of resistance.
"One of the 2010 initiatives for reducing the use of antimicrobials in animals is the introduction of a 'yellow card' issued to pig producers with a relatively high level of antibiotics consumption," he added.