Thursday, August 22, 2019

Plan to ban antibiotics ‘threatens animal welfare’

November 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Livestock

CALLS by Euro-MPs for a ban against antimicrobials in livestock farming could threaten animal welfare, vets have warned.

The British Veterinary Association said it was deeply concerned by a European parliament resolution calling on Brussels to legislate against the prophylactic use of antibiotics in livestock farming.

The move is part of a larger motion drawing attention to the problem of antimicrobial resistance and calling for measures across Europe to reduce the increase in resistance. It was passed by MEPs earlier this autumn.

BVA president Carl Padgett said: “There is a huge amount to be welcomed in this resolution, which calls for greater surveillance, increased use and understanding of data, and a responsible approach to the use of antimicrobials across Europe.

“However, the call for a ban on the prophylactic use of antibiotics in livestock farming could have a detrimental impact on animal health and welfare by reducing the ability of veterinary surgeons to treat animals.”

Mr Padgett said he understood the desire to put an end to blanket prophylactic treatment with antimicrobials. But the measure showed a lack of understanding of how vets treated infection on the farm.

“Vets should be able to use their clinical and professional judgement; otherwise we risk a situation whereby they are unable to administer an antimicrobial to an injured animal to prevent infection, or to the penmates of sick animals.”

Mr Padgett added: “In a practical sense, a complete ban on the prophylactic use of antimicrobials puts the vets in a very difficult position and the result could compromise animal health and welfare.”

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