September 6, 2021
EU to decide on antibiotics to be banned for animal health use
The European Parliament will be voting on a ban on the use of medically critical antibiotics in animals in mid-September.
In January 2022, Regulation (EU) 2019/6 on veterinary medicines will enter into force. According to this regulation, with regard to the prudent use of antimicrobials, especially those that are important for the treatment of infections in humans, but are also necessary for use in veterinary medicine, it may be necessary to restrict or prohibit their use in animals.
Before entry into force, the European Commission, Member States and the European Parliament must determine which antibiotics will be reserved for humans and thus banned for veterinary medicine.
On July 13, the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted on a draft regulation presented by the Commission on "Classification criteria for antimicrobial agents reserved for the treatment of certain infections in humans".
The committee voted against this document that describes the criteria for the designation of antibiotics that should be prohibited, despite being technically coordinated by all the relevant scientific institutions such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA), EFSA, ECDC, OIE and WHO, thus rejecting the scientific criteria.
This proposal will be voted on again in the European Parliament in mid-September. A majority vote would lead to a definitive ban on the use of fluoroquinolones, third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins, polymyxin and macrolide in all animal species, both pets and farm animals.
In view of this situation, some European veterinary associations are collecting signatures against this ban on the use of these types of antibiotics in animals.