Use of antibiotics in farms: Italy’s sad record, we are third in all of Europe

The new Esvac report, by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), photographs the situation of European farms with regard to the use of antibiotics. The latest edition reports a notable improvement (consumption has halved) but Italy is still in third place

Do they really love us?

Data from the new Esvac report (European surveillance of veterinary antimicrobial consumption), drawn up by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on the consumption of veterinary antibiotics in the EU, indicates a significant reduction in the use of these substances.

In the last 10 years, starting from 2011, sales have fallen by 47% in the 31 countries sampled by the survey, 29 of which are EU members (plus Switzerland and the United Kingdom).

If we look at the Italian situation, there is a 51% decrease in the use of antibiotics but this is not enough to ensure that our country does not end up on the podium of those who continue to use them more. Italyindeed, despite the sharp reduction, it is in third place.

Only Spain and Poland “beat” it in this record, of which there isn’t much to boast about.


sale of antibiotics farms europe


If instead we consider the use of antibiotics in relation to the population on farms, Italy becomes second, immediately after Poland.

In short, even if there has been a step forward, a lot still needs to be done in our country regarding the exaggerated use of antibiotics on farms. Which, as is known, also entails a series of risks for public health (see antibiotic resistance).

Read also: Massive consumption of meat is increasing antibiotic resistance: here’s why

Regardless of the Italian result, apparently good but not yet sufficient, the EU agency overall declares itself satisfied, as the data:

show progress towards meeting the targets of the National Antibiotic Resistance Plan, adopted in 2017.

Furthermore, for the first time, the Esvac report (which is annual) includes in the results what has been obtained from the Farm to Fork strategy of the European Commission, to reduce the sale of antibiotics in farms and for aquaculture.

Between 2018 and 2021, EU countries managed to reduce the use of antibiotics by 18%, which corresponds to a third of the reduction target set at 50% by 2030.

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Source: European Medicines Agency

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