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Livestock: Disease Control

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 20502, tabled on 16 December 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her policy is on proposals for an EU ban on the prophylactic treatment of groups of animals where no disease has been diagnosed in any of the animals as part of the review of the EU Veterinary Medicinal Products legislation.

Answered on

5 January 2016

The current compromise text of the proposal for an EU Regulation on the manufacture, placing on the market and use of medicated feed, states that “Medicated feed containing antibiotics shall not be used to prevent diseases in animals, or to enhance their performance.” However, a similar provision has not been included in the proposal for an EU Regulation on veterinary medicinal products.

The Government’s policy is that the administration of antibiotics in the absence of disease is not a responsible way to use antibiotics. In groups of animals where some are sick and others have not developed clinical signs, the veterinary surgeon has to be free to use their clinical judgement to prescribe antibiotics to ensure animal welfare. This policy is being put forward during the current negotiations.

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