Carthy welcomes adoption of Medicated Feed Regulation
Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has welcomed the recent adoption by the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development Committee of a new regulation on medicated feed.
Carthy commented this week:
“This is a positive conclusion to what is another important step in the battle against antimicrobial resistance. As the shadow rapporteur of this file, I worked to ensure that this it was congruent with the Antimicrobial Resistance and Veterinary Medicated Products files.
“The regulation will cover the manufacture, placing on the market and use of medicated feed for animals. It will also update and harmonise existing rules. We need to be very careful that animals do not build up a tolerance to antibiotics through overtreatment, if we want antibiotics to be effective for both animals and humans. The only way to do this is though effective regulation of the products that contain antimicrobials, such as medicated feed.
“A lot of debate occurred during the negotiating stage on existing conditions in a herd before use is authorised, this concluded with the banning of what is known as prophylaxis, treating groups of animals as a preventative measure, when no symptoms are detected. Farmers will continue to be allowed to treat groups of animals when the spread of infection is high, due to an animal in the group being infected.
“In all cases, only a veterinarian will issue prescriptions for medicated feed containing antibiotics and only after a proper physical examination and diagnosis. The rules will also extend to top dressing prepared by farmers and medicated water.
“Throughout these discussions I have been mindful how delicate this balance must be, the regulation must provide very technical rules to deal with issues such as cross contamination, but we do not wish for such technically to become a barrier to farmers taking immediate steps to treat infected animals.
“Irish farmers will have a genuine concern that animals being imported into the EU will be subject to the same rules as here. The is particularity relevant given the EU continues to seek a free trade deal with Mercosur countries which includes Brazil, a country where long term preventative use in animals has been reported to be commonplace.
“The agreement negotiated between EU institutions confirms that non-EU farmers will respect conditions relating to antimicrobial resistance if the animals are to be exported to the EU. This is, of course, a welcome development.
“This regulation will now be voted on at a full plenary session of the European Parliament in the Autumn. It is likely to secure the requisite endorsement of MEPs and in turn provide the clarity necessary for farmers and vets and also assist in the battle to deal with increased resistance to antibiotics which could potentially cost millions of human lives worldwide”.