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Parliamentary questions
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23 December 2011
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-010443/2011

1. In the use of antibiotics in human medicine, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the 2010 Annual Epidemiological Report on Communicable Diseases of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control presenting data on antibiotic use by type of antibiotics and by Member States(1).

2. Data on the use of antibiotic in veterinary medicines are available in the report ‘Trends in the sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in nine European countries’ of the European Medicines Agency(2). As the data presented in this report are aggregated per antimicrobial class it does not allow for more in-depth analysis.

3. Directive 96/23/EC(3) imposes the obligation for veterinarians to enter in a register kept on the farm the date and nature of any treatment prescribed or administered, the identification of the animals treated and the corresponding withdrawal periods. In case of treatments on prescription of the veterinarian performed by the farmer, similar obligations including keeping the prescriptions for five years, are imposed on the farmer.

4. Directive 2001/82/EC(4) provides rules on the authorisation, possession, distribution and dispensing of veterinary medicinal products. All veterinary antimicrobials for food-producing animals are subject to prescription. Member States have to monitor the compliance with the rules and to specify and decide upon the sanctions in the event of a failure to observe the provisions of the rules and the conditions contained in the authorisations granted under the procedures the rules establish. The competent authorities in every Member State are obliged to take corrective actions when residues are detected in food of animal origin at levels in excess of permitted limits. These actions are prescribed in Council Directive 96/23/EC.

(1)ECDC, 2010 Annual epidemiological report on communicable diseases, Antimicrobial use, p. 173; http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/publications/1011_SUR_Annual_Epidemiological_Report_on_Communicable_Diseases_in_Europe.pdf
(2)EMA/238630/2011, Trends in the sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in nine European countries, Antimicrobial use, p. 173; http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Report/2011/09/WC500112309.pdf
(3)Directive 96/23/EC on measures to monitor certain substances and residues thereof in live animals and animal products and repealing Directives 85/358/EEC and 86/469/EEC and Decisions 89/187/EEC and 91/664/EEC (OJ L 125, 23.5.1996, p. 10) .
(4)Directive 2001/82/EC on the Community code relating to veterinary medicinal products (OJ L 311, 28.11.2001, p. 1).

OJ C 168 E, 14/06/2012
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