Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance has gradually become a serious threat for the future of mankind. Global action is needed to enforce better control on the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in both human medicines and livestock production. To reduce the medicine use at farm level, animal feeding can play a positive role.

First of all, it shouldn’t be forgotten that ever since the EU ban of the use of antibiotics for growth promoting purposes in 2006 it has consequently been prohibited for standard feed to contain any antibiotic growth promoters. Nevertheless, bringing down further the need for antibiotics for animal health purposes must be a key objective for the EU livestock chain. Adequate nutrition that meets the demands for the maintenance of optimal animal health, together with controlled farm housing conditions, could already contribute to this minimization.

For example, research has been able to identify certain feed components that would have a positive impact on animal gut health, a vital element for resistance to infections and diseases. Encouraging the implementation of these types of good animal husbandry management practices by farmers and veterinarians regarding the proper use of antibiotics is the main objective of EPRUMA (European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals), for which FEFAC renewed its active support in 2012. FEFAC is very much supportive of the EU Commission review of the veterinary legislation which is going on for several years now, aiming to improve the legal framework regarding animal health and antimicrobial resistance.