Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
The EU legislation on medicated feed and veterinary medicinal products is currently under revision, and the Commission will ensure that the issue of antimicrobial resistance will be addressed appropriately. The Commission has the intention to present the legal proposals in 2013.
In the context of the revision of the legislation on veterinary medicinal products, an external study was carried out in 2010-2011 to quantify the main perceived problems, to suggest policy options and to assess the impact(1).
In the meantime, the Commission's CAP reform proposals provide the Member States with the tools to encourage a more sustainable and more extensive agricultural production. The move away from historical support (in those countries which apply this system) to a flat rate is expected to lead to a reduction in support for more intensive production to the benefit of more extensive grazing livestock where the subsidy per hectare is generally lower. The flat rate system also means that more land will become eligible and will attract a payment, including land on which there is minimal agricultural activity. In addition the proposal to allow voluntary coupled production, for sensitive sectors, allows Member States to apply conditions which could include a limit on the number of animals.
Member States also have the option under the Rural Development proposals to provide funding for organic farming and higher animal welfare standards which could reduce the use of antibiotics. The proposals introduce greater flexibility in terms of length of contract and beneficiaries which should make the schemes more accessible for producers.