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European Parliament see sense on antibiotics

20th Sep 2021 / By Alistair Driver

The European Parliament has shown support for pig health and welfare as they have rejected proposals to bring in heavy restrictions for antibiotics used in animals, which could potentially compromise animal welfare.

“We’re very pleased the majority of MEPs voted to support continued veterinary access to medicines as they currently stand - the proposals lacked any scientific justification and it is important that policy is based on science and evidence,” said Rebecca Veale, NPA Senior Policy Adviser.

Access to High Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP CIA’s) is permitted under the guidelines set out by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which uses scientific evidence to consider the use of medicines in the context of human and animal health and welfare.

“The responsible approach to medicines in the pig sector has been clearly demonstrated for a number of years as the use of antibiotics has dropped and the voluntary targets formed with the RUMA Targets Task Force have been set and met.

"It is absolutely vital that our vets have access to medicines to treat sick pigs to maintain our responsible approach in this country, and for the continued health and welfare of the national herd,” Rebecca added.

Whilst any changes to EU law are no longer applicable in the UK, the EMA list is currently followed by RUMA and the wider supply chain and there could be implications in terms of trade.