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Veterinary medicines: new rules to promote animal health and fight antimicrobial resistance now apply – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology

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In the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR), revamped legislation on veterinary medicinal products applies in the EU from today. Adopted three years ago, this legislation is now a cornerstone to support the achievement of the goals set out in the European One Health Action Plan and in the Farm to Fork Strategy against Antimicrobial Resistance. The legislation also consolidates the EU’s leading role on the global stage to act against antimicrobial resistance.

Welcoming this important step, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriaks, made the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated how human, plant and animal health, environmental health and food security are interdependent. The clearest illustration of these links is the silent pandemic of antimicrobial resistance.

As part of our farm to fork strategy, we have set an ambitious target of halving overall sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and aquaculture in the EU by 2030. With the European One Health Action Plan, we aim to tackle this potential health crisis by addressing human, animal and plant health issues as a continuum. The new rules will be key to achieving this.

In the EU, the majority of antimicrobials are administered to animals, to which the same basic principle applies as for humans: to treat disease and keep them healthy. However, it is possible to reduce infections and the need for treatment in the first place, through improved hygiene practices and vaccination, as well as – in the case of farm animals – biosecurity and breeding. Limiting the use of antimicrobials must be the priority.

The new rules will ensure that from today antimicrobial treatments for animals will be given when, and only when, there is a real need. Along with the new medicated feed legislation, which will prohibit preventative use and restrict prescriptions of antimicrobials in medicated feed, the new rules will significantly strengthen the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

The new rules will also promote the availability of promising veterinary medicines in the future by stimulating innovation and competitiveness.

I encourage all Member States to ensure that the appropriate measures and resources are put in place, in order to ensure the full functioning of the legislation on the ground at national level, and to make its implementation a success. commmon.

The new rules reinforce the EU’s position as a leader in the global fight against antimicrobial resistance, while providing us with a modern, innovative legal framework adapted to the needs of veterinary medicinal products.”


Veterinary drugs – also known as drugs for veterinary use, veterinary drugs or veterinary medicinal products (VMPs) – are substances or combinations of substances intended to treat, prevent or diagnose disease in animals.

The EU supports the development and authorization of safe, effective and qualitative veterinary medicinal products for the production of food and companion animals. It helps to ensure the availability of these medicines while guaranteeing the highest level of protection of public health, animal health and the environment.

Adopted in 2019, the new Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMP) come into force on January 28, 2022.

The main Goals of the legislation are:

  • put in place a modern, innovative and adapted legal framework,
  • encourage innovation for VMPs and increase their availability,
  • stepping up the EU’s fight against antimicrobial resistance

In recent years, the Commission has worked on the adoption of some 25 delegated acts and implementing acts to complete this regulation, half of them by the date of application of the regulation.