03 June 1999
EC to urge cut in feed antibiotics

THE European Commission is expected to release a report soon raising concerns about the overuse of antibiotics, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The report recommends immediate reduction of the use of anti-microbial drugs in human medicine, veterinary medicine, animal production and plant production.

It reflects growing evidence of the resistance certain micro-organisms have built up to antibiotics, making them untreatable.

The report calls for tighter controls on the distribution of antibiotics, and an educational programme for doctors, farmers and consumers about the dangers of overuse.

Agriculture ministers across Europe agreed in December to ban virginiamycin, tylosin phosphate, spiramycin and zinc bacitracin.

The organic pressure group, The Soil Association, wants a ban on the growth-promoting antibiotic avilamycin, which is given to chickens, pigs and turkeys.

It says that bacteria resistant to the drug have been found in livestock products which could pass to humans.

The National Farmers Union said it was aware of the report, adding that it was working towards seeing that a reduction did not adversely affect animal welfare.