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Parliamentary questions
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31 July 2015
E-011965-15
Question for written answer E-011965-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Jutta Steinruck (S&D)

 Subject:  Use of antibiotics in livestock farming
 Answer in writing 

Antibiotics are the main tool for treating bacterial infectious diseases. But a global trend shows that resistance to antibiotics is increasing sharply. When bacteria become resistant to common antibiotics, diseases take significantly longer to treat, are more serious and pose a great danger to the subject. The risk of antibiotic resistance has been recognised and was therefore a key issue on the agenda of the G7 summit in June.

The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety has recently released alarming indicators for the bi-annual antibiotic treatment frequency in fattening animals in farming. In the 2014-2015 reference period, although the use of antibiotics in livestock farming has fallen, resistance to antibiotics has continued to rise. The use of antibiotics in livestock farming must therefore be reduced by 50% in the medium term. For this to occur, the affected livestock population must enjoy good hygienic conditions and be in good health and farm holdings must be better managed.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

1. Is it aware of this problem and does it have access to EU-wide studies on this subject?
2. How does it assess the scope for drawing up a single legal framework for animal health in order to combat antibiotic abuse more effectively?
3. In the light of the global risk of transmission of multi-resistant germs, is it considering promoting exchanges of information between national public health authorities and expanding government controls?

Original language of question: DE 
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