Pharmaceuticals are essential for treating disease in both humans and animals. Yet veterinary medicines are frequently misused in food-producing animals to compensate for poor hygiene and sustain irresponsible farming practices that favour profits over the environment, human health, and animal welfare.
Veterinary medicines can accumulate in plants and non-target animals, where they can cause adverse effects on ecosystems, contaminating water and food, including drinking water. Antimicrobial residues in the environment can also contribute to the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a major global health threat responsible for at least 1.27 million deaths per year globally.
Our new publication Veterinary medicine in European food production, written in collaboration with PAN Germany, assesses trends in veterinary medicines and identifies their impact on the environment, public health, and animal welfare.
The report is also available in German.