Animal Health Care

22/ 11/ 2018

Round table “System of antimicrobial resistance in animal industry”

Around 700 people die because of resistance to antibiotics in the world each year. Taking into account the absence of proper regulatory mechanisms, this figure may multiply by 2050. Therefore, regulation of the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry requires special attention, since people consume animal products and the excessive amount of antibiotics in these products causes human resistance. This point was discussed at the roundtable, organized by the Veterinarians Committee of the EBA on November 21.

During the event the EU experience in this context was presented. There is continuing work to strengthen the legislative framework on this issue and to reduce the level of antibiotic in husbandry usage. Taking into account this fact, in the EU antibiotics are allowed to be used only after the prescription of a veterinarian and this prescription must be kept for five years. In addition, manufacturers of antibiotics should make prescriptions about resistance. Among that, the use of antibiotics in the EU for preventive purpose has been prohibited since 2006. At the event, AnimalHealthEurope’s expert noted that due to changes in veterinary legislation in the EU, control over the import of husbandry products to the European Union could be tightened. There is a likelihood that exports of products from countries using growth stimulants may be prohibited. In order to avoid this situation, national laws should meet European standards. However, the use of antibiotics in Ukraine is not strictly regulated. So, the legislation needs to be changed. 

Also innovations that will soon be introduced in the EU were presented. Thus, a new database of veterinary medicines has been authorized for use in the EU, specifying antibiotics that can be used only for human treatment and which require a ban in husbandry. In addition, if some antibiotics cause questions about resistance, the competent authorities may ask the manufacturer to conduct post-marketing studies. Also, each country should separately collect data about the use of antibiotics, even by small farms.

The need for a Ukrainian initiative in this direction was also presented. Thus, the Director General of the Directorate for Food Safety and Quality of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy told about the development of a new Law on Veterinary Medicine. In the near future it will be published for discussion. The main challenge will the practical implementation of the Law and training of veterinarians as regional services and companies to follow new regulations. The Committee on Veterinary Products Producers expressed its full support for the training of representatives of the state and business in partnership with the European Business Association.

The head of the National Agency for Veterinary Preparations and Feed Additives presented the main practical directions of improvement of Ukrainian legislation. For example, the distribution of veterinary drugs is possible only after the competent authority has issued a relevant license. A non-registered drug has no right to be on the market – in wholesale or in retail trade. Therefore, it is necessary to implement licensing of antibiotics for veterinary medicine in Ukraine now. It is important to create a national E-tracking system, which can monitor distribution, set limits for excessive use of them at a particular enterprise, etc. The usage of similar systems in European countries has had a positive impact. Thus, in Britain antibiotics usage decreased by 27%, in the Netherlands – by 64%. In addition, all of the above principles are correlated with the updated EU legislation and are intended to help the husbandry industry to minimize the risks when exporting their products to the EU and other countries.

In conclusion, we were talking about antibiotics in honey. The head of DNDKI emphasized that their content can be very, very minimal and only a few types of antibiotics can be possible to use.

At the end of the roundtable, the EBA Veterinary Medicine Committee expressed its full support for strengthening control over the circulation and use of antimicrobial drugs in Ukraine and the willingness to support the practical implementation of new legislation.

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