EPRUMA, the European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals, of which Access VetMed is a member, organised an event hosted by MEPs Emma Wiesner and Alexander Bernhuber ahead of the European Antibiotics Awareness Day. The aim was to discuss the main limitations and solutions for a true One Health approach to addressing the silent pandemic of antimicrobial resistance.

As antibiotics remain the only way to treat a bacterial disease in humans and animals, preserving their efficacy is of vital importance for our shared future. To do this, human healthcare and animal sectors need to work together. One sector cannot do it on its own, as Aurélien Perez from the European Commission’s One Health Directorate reminded.

“The antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats against humanity. The European Union must do more to curb the overuse of antibiotics in the EU livestock sector and in human healthcare. The EU must also act stronger on a global level – the goal should be a binding global agreement on reduction of antibiotics use – like a Paris agreement, but for antibiotics, MEP Emma Wiesner demanded.

MEP Alexander Bernhuber added: “The responsible use of antibiotics is still necessary for livestock farming. Veterinarians must use antibiotics to treat bacterial diseases, contain disease outbreaks and prevent animal suffering. The use of antibiotics in animal husbandry is a matter of animal welfare and health responsibility. Nevertheless, we have to work together on European level to find a pathway to reduce the need for antibiotics in both, animal and human medicine.”

EPRUMA chair Cat McLaughlin closed the event by re-iterating the importance of responsible use: “The concept of ‘One Health’ is about recognising that responsible use of antibiotics is of equal importance in both humans and animals. It is not about ‘zero use’ of medicines and antibiotics. It is about reducing our need for them in the first place but acknowledging that if we do have to use them, we use them in the right way, at the right moment, at the right dosage and adhering to the prescription and instructions. Using antibiotics as little as possible, but as much as necessary, and calling for the implementation of a true One Health approach will continue to be EPRUMA’s guiding principle.”

Read more Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Europe: putting our best foot forward for One Health