The EESC believes it is necessary and appropriate to update European legislation on medicated feed so as to ensure uniform conditions for manufacturing, placing on the market and using medicated feed, while protecting the health and welfare of animals and the expectations of consumers. The EESC urges that minor species and aquaculture, where the availability of veterinary medicinal products is a problem, should have access to medicated feed and that barriers preventing manufacturing and distribution from running smoothly be lowered. The EESC realises that there will be carry-overs to non-target feed of the active substances contained in medicated feed, although these carry-overs must take place in accordance with the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). The EESC also underlines the need to establish criteria, such as target values, to ensure the appropriate homogeneity of medicated feed.
The Committee notes that vets or skilled qualified professionals must comply with their duty not to carry out routine preventative treatments using antimicrobials, although there are cases where such treatment is needed to ensure the health and wellbeing of animals and ultimately, public health.
Animal health has a strategic importance given its impact on animal wellbeing and welfare, public health and food safety, the environment and the rural economy. Therefore, the availability of authorised veterinary medicinal products is crucial so that vets or skilled qualified professionals have at their disposal sufficient tools to control, prevent and treat animal diseases. The EESC considers that access to safe and effective antibiotics is a key element of the tools that vets rely in this context.
The EESC believes that the current legislation entails significant red tape for industry, which has a negative impact on the innovation that is needed; it therefore welcomes the introduction of streamlined rules to be applied during the authorisation procedures as well as during the subsequent oversight, the changes to the marketing authorisations, etc. which are aimed at reducing these administrative constraints, though there is room for improvement in the proposal.