Germany Amends Act to Reduce Antibiotic Use09 July 2013
GERMANY - The German Federal Council agreed a draft to amend the Drug Law (AMG) on Friday clearing the way for more transparency in the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry and reducting of quantities used.
Federal Minister for Consumer Protection Ilse Aigner welcomed the decision of the Bundesrat.
“The law is a great step forward for consumer health protection,” she said.
“By minimising the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry specifically, we are taking a decisive step in Germany to curb antibiotic resistance."
The bill has been negotiated between the federal and state governments over several months and has been approved by the Federal Council in the Conciliation Committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat.
“The mediation process was intense and controversial for long periods, but also dominated by a will on all sides to unite,” said Ms Aigner.
“We have agreed on a good compromise.”
The aim of 16 AMG amendment is to minimise the use of antibiotics in livestock farming, to allow pet owners to check the use of antibiotics better and where necessary to reduce them and to give the veterinary drug monitoring of country more control powers.
“Specifically, the act establishes a system for the measurement of the frequency of antibiotic treatment and a nationwide comparison of the results with the aim of giving pet owners the means to reduce the use of antibiotics.”
She added: “The goal is transparency in animal husbandry by determining the reasons for antibiotic, comparing the frequency of intensive treatment and continually working on improvements.”
The amendment will enable animal keepers to fulfil their responsibility as food businesses under the law.
"I am hoping that farmers see the new rules as an opportunity to optimise their livestock," said Ms Aigner.
The provisions of the Act are designed so that the administrative burden on farmers is as low as possible.
She added that since resistance of dangerous pathogens to antibiotics is growing, the use of antibiotics must be urgently reduced - in animal husbandry as well as in human medicine.
"The amount of antibiotics used in animal husbandry can be significantly reduced within a few years with the AMG amendment," said Ms Aigner.
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