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In the latest bid to thwart antibiotic resistance, a European Parliament committee unanimously voted to adopt a deal with the European Council to limit the medicines in food-producing livestock.

Under the new rules, ordinary antibiotic use for preventing disease will be prohibited and healthy animals can only receive them under certain circumstances, such as following surgery. The European Council member states, or individual countries, must collect data on antibiotic sales and usage for each animal species. And the Commission will have to compile a list of antibiotics that will be reserved for treating only humans. (Here is a backgrounder.)


The move, which was agreed upon last week, comes amid ongoing concern that antibiotics are too readily provided to food-producing animals, which has contributed to an alarming rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For this reason, the issue has drawn the attention of regulators and policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic.

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