French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert acclaimed the excellent results of the first Ecoantibio plan, which was in place from 2012 to 2016. The target figures for reducing the use of antibiotics for animal health were not only met but largely surpassed. The results bear witness to the actions and engagement of all involved parties in both the public and private spheres, and particularly to veterinarians and ranchers on this major public health priority.

The data recently published by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) showed a decrease of animal exposure to antibiotics of 37% over the period of 2012 to 2016, beating the initial goal of a 25% reduction by more than 10%. The decrease was even more remarkable for critically important antimicrobials, with a 75% decrease for fluoroquinolones and an 81% reduction for newer-generation cephalosporins.

Beyond the numbers, the Ecoantibio plan has resulted in increasing education for veterinarians and farmers, as well as communication campaigns particularly targeting pet owners and farmers in order to promote vaccination and to combat the overuse of antibiotics.

The second Ecoantibio plan (2017 to 2021) should allow France to maintain these good results over the long haul and to reinforce this positive and responsible dynamic. Which is why a new communication campaign targeting farmers and veterinarians has just been launched, called “Antibiotics, appropriately and only when needed.”

The fight against antibiotic resistance is a major global public health challenge. France is pushing on both the European and international level for each country to develop their own national plan to help in the fight, coordinated with the human medicine sector.

This wonderful achievement is the product of action by all. It proves that when the goals are shared, the collective dynamic can even allow them to be surpassed,” said Stéphane Travert, French Minister of Agriculture.