November 21, 2022


Sales of veterinary antibiotics in European countries dropped by 47% in 2011-2021



The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) annual report on the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) showed that, since 2011, European countries have substantially reduced sales of veterinary antibiotics in animals.


According to data from 25 countries that continuously provided input for the full 2011-2021 period, overall sales of veterinary antibiotics decreased by 47% in this interval, reaching the lowest value ever reported.


Sales of antibiotic classes considered critically important in human medicine also decreased noticeably between 2011 and 2021, and accounted for only 5.5% of total sales in 2021. Sales of third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins dropped by 38%, polymyxins by 80%, fluoroquinolones by 14% and sales of other quinolones by 83%. These antibiotics should be used prudently and responsibly to preserve their effectiveness and mitigate the potential risk to public health, as indicated in the Antimicrobial Advice ad hoc Expert Group (AMEG) categorisation.


This ESVAC report included, for the first time, information on the progress made towards the European Commission's Farm to Fork Strategy target to reduce the sale of antimicrobials for farmed animals and aquaculture in the European Union.


In only three years, between 2018 and 2021, the 27 EU member states have already achieved a 18% reduction, approximately one third of the 50% reduction target set for 2030.


- EMA (EU)

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