EU Parliament Votes to Limit Animal Antibiotic Usage

On Thursday 25th October, Members of the European Parliament voted to approve measures that would limit antibiotic use in livestock and poultry.

The new regulations state that, under no circumstances, can veterinary antibiotics be administered to improve the performance of animals or compensate for poor farming conditions. The rules limit the use of administering antibiotics to single animals and not groups as a method of preventing infection, where there are no signs of a clinical infection present. This is known as prophylactic use.

Use of antibiotics must be approved by a veterinarian and only in cases where a high risk of infection is present.

The Members of the European Parliament also ruled that metaphylactic use, the process of treating groups of animals when only one shows signs of infection, is to only be administered as a last resort when a veterinarian has diagnosed the infection and prescribed the antimicrobials.

When it comes to regulating imported foods to the EU the produce will have to meet the required standards before being approved as an import.

A separate vote was also held on ways to produce, sell and use medicated feed to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

Françoise Grossetête (EPP, FR), rapporteur said “This is a major step forward for public health. Beyond farmers or animal owners, the use of veterinary medicines concerns us all, because it has a direct impact on our environment and our food; in short, on our health. Thanks to this law, we will be able to reduce the consumption of antibiotics on livestock farms, an important source of resistance that is then transmitted to humans. Antibiotic resistance is a real sword of Damocles, threatening to send our health care system back to the Middle Ages”.

To meet new regulations, the livestock and poultry industries will require advanced food test kits and analysers. Randox Food Diagnostics are market leaders in antimicrobial testing, tests are available for meat, seafood, milk, feed, honey and wine. Using patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT) users can obtain results for multiple antimicrobials, growth promoters, synthetic steroids and mycotoxins from a single sample. BAT offers savings on time, labour and material costs while complying with regulations.

For more information on food testing with Biochip Array Technology contact

Stop by the Randox Food Diagnostics booth or join our workshop on Tuesday 6th November from 12.45-13.45 at Rapid Methods Europe from 5th-7th November to learn more.

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