France’s innovative EcoAntibio plan announced big, positive news last month concerning its efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in agriculture.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety has just published findings that the goal of reducing the use of antibiotics by 25% in five years (2012-2016) is in progress to be met. Additionally, the goal set by the Law on the future of agriculture, food, and forests of reducing by 25% the exposure of animals to antibiotics of critical importance, is also in progress to be achieved by its deadline, the end of this year.

In total, between 2012 and 2015, the exposure of animals to antibiotics, for all animal species and all antibiotics families, reduced by 20,1% since 2011. A decrease was found for all animal species compared to 2011 – 9.5% for cows, 24.1%f or pork, 22.1% for poultry, 17.8% for rabbits, 9.5% for domestic cats and dogs. The final results for 2016, the last year of the first EcoAntibio plan, will be known during the second part of 2017.

Around the world, antibiotics are widely used to treat bacterial infections, both in human and in veterinary medicine. But they can also have negative effects on health if they’re used in an excessive fashion. In the European Union, the use in livestock farming of antibiotics to promote growth has already been banned since 2006. France has introduced major efforts in reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics in agriculture, most notably through its EcoAntiBio plan. The country hopes to continue to play a leading role in coming years in the reduction of excessive use of antibiotics in agriculture.

The Ecoantibio Plan is a public policy set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Agro-Food and Forestry. It relates to all animal sectors (including pets) and covers all French territories.

The aim of the Plan is to reduce the risks of antibiotic resistance used in veterinary medicine and to safeguard the efficacy of the antibiotics recommended by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and various European institutions.

The first Ecoantibio Plan, launched on 18 November 2011, was spread over five years, from 2012 to 2016 inclusive. 2016 was set aside for taking stock of the first Plan and preparing a new Plan.

THE FIRST ECOANTIBIO PLAN HAD 2 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

  • To reduce the exposure of animals to antibiotics by 25% in 5 years, paying particular attention to the use of critically important antibiotics in veterinary medicines and medicine aimed at humans.
  • To preserve therapeutic arsenal of antibiotics in a durable way, especially as the prospects of developing new antibiotics for veterinary use are currently minimal.

Read more about the plan at the following link:
FRANCE_Ecoantibio_AMR summary 2 pages