Antibiotics on farms: end routine preventative use

intensively farmed pigs staring through bars

In Europe we are on the verge of one of the most fundamental changes to modern farming in recent decades. Since the post-war era our farms have been intensifying, with more and more animals growing quicker in bigger groups, kept alive until slaughter weight with the help of routine antibiotics to ward of sickness. Until now.

There are new proposals to change the law surrounding the use of antibiotics on farms. Across Europe is it currently legal to give antibiotics to healthy animals, and this is what the proposals are seeking to change.

Last year the European Parliament voted by an astounding 95% to ban the routine preventative use of antibiotics. The next step is for the agricultural ministers of the Member States to agree that the changes should be made. There is a danger, however, that some governments don’t want current practices to change. For the sake of animal welfare, and human health in the face of antimicrobial resistance, they must. We have campaigned for these changes for many years, and if we all take action at this crucial time, we might succeed.

Email your ministers for health and agriculture

If the revised law is passed it would mean:

  • Veterinary medicines could not be used to improve performance or compensate for poor animal husbandry;
  • Antibiotics could not be added to feed or water for mass medication when no disease has been diagnosed in any of the animals;
  • To help tackle antimicrobial resistance in human beings, the revised law would empower the European Commission to designate antibiotics which are to be reserved for human use only;
  • Metaphylactic use (i.e. treating a group of animals when one shows signs of infection) would be restricted to clinically-ill animals and to single animals that are identified as being at a high risk of contamination.

Antimicrobial resistance

The fight against antibiotic resistance must start on farms.

Rapporteur Françoise Grossetête

Not only is the unnecessary use of antibiotics on farms a scapegoat for poor conditions, it is also a danger to human health. The systematic overuse of antibiotics in human and animal medicine is undermining their ability to cure life-threatening infections. Experts now predict that, globally, 10 million people a year could die from antibiotic resistant infections by 2050. The more antibiotics that are used for farming, the more resistance there will be. Antibiotics are a vital cornerstone of human and animal medicine and across the world there is huge concern about how we protect them from becoming useless in the face of ever-more resistant bacteria. For more information visit saveourantibiotics.org

Email your ministers

Take action

Tell your ministers for agriculture and health to support an EU wide ban on the routine prevantative use of antitbiotics in farming.

You'll be able to review the message on the next page before it's sent.

Please note: This action is only available to EU residents. If you don’t live in the EU, you can take other actions to protect farm animals here.

 
 
 

In Europe we are on the verge of one of the most fundamental changes to modern farming in recent decades. Since the post-war era our farms have been intensifying, with more and more animals growing quicker in bigger groups, kept alive until slaughter weight with the help of routine antibiotics to ward of sickness. Until now.

There are new proposals to change the law surrounding the use of antibiotics on farms. Across Europe is it currently legal to give antibiotics to healthy animals, and this is what the proposals are seeking to change.

Last year the European Parliament voted by an astounding 95% to ban the routine preventative use of antibiotics. The next step is for the agricultural ministers of the Member States to agree that the changes should be made. There is a danger, however, that some governments don’t want current practices to change. For the sake of animal welfare, and human health in the face of antimicrobial resistance, they must. We have campaigned for these changes for many years, and if we all take action at this crucial time, we might succeed.

Email your ministers for health and agriculture

If the revised law is passed it would mean:

  • Veterinary medicines could not be used to improve performance or compensate for poor animal husbandry;
  • Antibiotics could not be added to feed or water for mass medication when no disease has been diagnosed in any of the animals;
  • To help tackle antimicrobial resistance in human beings, the revised law would empower the European Commission to designate antibiotics which are to be reserved for human use only;
  • Metaphylactic use (i.e. treating a group of animals when one shows signs of infection) would be restricted to clinically-ill animals and to single animals that are identified as being at a high risk of contamination.

Antimicrobial resistance

The fight against antibiotic resistance must start on farms.

Rapporteur Françoise Grossetête

Not only is the unnecessary use of antibiotics on farms a scapegoat for poor conditions, it is also a danger to human health. The systematic overuse of antibiotics in human and animal medicine is undermining their ability to cure life-threatening infections. Experts now predict that, globally, 10 million people a year could die from antibiotic resistant infections by 2050. The more antibiotics that are used for farming, the more resistance there will be. Antibiotics are a vital cornerstone of human and animal medicine and across the world there is huge concern about how we protect them from becoming useless in the face of ever-more resistant bacteria. For more information visit saveourantibiotics.org

Email your ministers