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Antimicrobial resistance: what is the risk of spread through animal transport?

EFSA's scientific opinion is expected to be completed by September 2022

EFSA has undertaken a new scientific assessment to examine the risk of spreading bacteria resistant to antimicrobials during the transport of animals. The assessment, requested by the European Parliament's Commission on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (Envi), will focus on the risk of spreading resistant zoonotic bacteria between poultry, pigs and cattle during transport to other farms or to slaughterhouse. . Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), if it occurs in zoonotic bacteria - bacteria that can transfer from animals to humans - can even compromise the effectiveness of infectious disease therapy in humans.

Marta Hugas, EFSA's scientific director said: "Antimicrobial resistance is a threat to public health, and evidence-based advice is vital to develop policies and laws to address this challenge. This new mandate - the which focuses on the possible implications for human health - illustrates once again the growing convergence between animal and human health and the need for a 'One Health' approach by evaluators and politicians".

In addition to investigating factors that can cause the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria through transport, EFSA will also explore prevention measures and options for controlling the phenomenon, and will identify any need for additional data to support the analysis of the issue. The scientific opinion is expected to be completed by September 2022. The request stems from discussions that took place last year between the Commission of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT), the European Commission and EFSA.

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EFA News - European Food Agency