Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed: "Biosecurity measures, good husbandry systems, good feed and hygienic conditions certainly play a crucial role in disease prevention, though, animals can still get sick and they need to be treated for both animal health and welfare reasons.
"Appropriate therapy and veterinary medicines therefore must be available in all Member States and for all species, including minor species, which currently face a severe lack of veterinary medicines.
"One of the reasons antimicrobial resistance has worsened is due to the lack of investment to develop new effective antibiotics or feasible alternatives to cure the animals."
In addition, he stated: "Farmers must currently respect veterinary prescriptions, including recommendations for medicine use, record all treatments in order to ensure effective evaluation.
"This will allow possible adjustments for future treatments because it is in farmers’ interests to ensure sustainable livestock production, with healthy and productive animals. This is one of the best ways to reduce the need for antibiotic treatment."
Wrapping up, he said: "A responsible use of antimicrobial agents along the whole food chain is vital.
"It is a huge step towards controlling the spread of antimicrobial resistance and enabling the effective treatment of bacterial infections in animals as well as humans in the future.
"In this respect, we believe that the responsible use of antimicrobials is a shared responsibility between veterinarians, farmers, the entire food chain, and public authorities."