New EMA report shows encouraging trends in veterinary use of antibiotics


The European Medicines Agency (EMA) published its fifth report of the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) project on the sales of veterinary antibiotics in EU/EEA Member States.

The main highlights are:

  • Encouraging overall trends in terms of responsible use of antibiotics in animals: there was a decrease in veterinary antibiotic sales by approximately 8% between 2011 and 2013;
  • Varying trends in veterinary antibiotic sales depending on the country: 11 countries reported a decrease in antibiotic sales of more than 5%, ranging up to 51%, while 6 countries reported an increase in antibiotic sales of more than 5%, ranging up to 21%.  

The report is supported by the launch of an interactive database where users can access different sets of data, e.g. sales per specific country, sales of a particular class of antibiotic or per pharmaceutical form, or sales related to animal population, and create charts, maps or graphs.

Antibiotic use in animals is one of the causes of emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Inappropriate antibiotic use in animals can lead to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can then spread to humans through food, and through direct contact with animals or contaminated soils. (See the new EAAD infographic: How does antibiotic resistance spread?).