EPRUMA best-practice guidelines for the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals

Several guidance documents relating to the prudent use of antimicrobials have been published by different public, professional and industry bodies. This resulted in better understanding/improved practices by veterinarians and animal owners/keepers. Much of the guidance is also readily accessible in different EU languages.

One of the bodies producing these guidance documents at EU level is EPRUMA, a European multi-stakeholder platform which has already released two best-practice guidelines (brochures) for the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. You may find them on their website: www.epruma.eu

The brochures explain the role and benefits of antibiotics in animal health and the description of best-practices for their use. They also give guidance on indoor and free-range production, housing, biosecurity, nutrition, etc. and include a decision tree on the use of veterinary antibiotics in food-producing animals. The guidance should be, of course, further tailored to the local situation of an individual farm. The final implementation should be shared responsibility between the farmer and other professional visitors to the farm such as veterinarians, feed and husbandry experts, and biosecurity specialists.

Efforts made by farmers and these professional consultants, supported by all other stakeholders, will result in an optimal level of animal health and welfare. Consequently, this facilitates and drives the responsible use of veterinary medicines, according to the principle ‘as little as possible and as much as necessary’.