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One Health - The Nordic Council challenges the EU to combat antibiotic resistance

The concept "One Health" recognises the relationship between disease and health in humans and animals, and the environment in which we are working. The connection between human health and animal health is well documented. In many countries the use of antibiotics in the animal sector accounts for up to 80 percent of the total consumption.

A recent seminar in the European Parliament (EP) entitled One Health from a Nordic perspective was hosted by MEP Christel Schaldemose, together with the Nordic Council. One Health Sweden’s chair Lotta Berg was a speaker on one of the panels.

The EP is currently in the process of preparing legislation on veterinary medicine and animal health. The Nordic Council believes that this is a window of opportunity for European action against antibiotic resistance.

During the meeting MEP Christel Schaldemose highlighted that it is not acceptable that 25,000 people are killed annually in Europe due to antibiotic resistance, and that urgent action is needed. There is an opportunity to combat the enormous threat to human and animal health.

From the right: Christel Schaldemose, Annicka Engblom and Christina Gestrin hosting a seminar on "One Health"

The Nordic Council recommend that the EP passes legislation that accomplishes the following:

  • Stops the practice of using antibiotics as an instrument for preventing disease, in reality a substitute for neglecting animal welfare;
  • Prohibits doctors and veterinarians to earn money on the sale of antibiotics;
  • Supports co-operation between the human and veterinary sectors as well as the involvement of industry that acts responsibly;
  • Strengthens monitoring and data collection as a basis for prevention close to the source;
  • Limits the total use of antibiotics, and promotes the use of narrow- spectrum antibiotics as the first choice in treatment;
  • Underpins treatment of humans and animals based on diagnostics and an understanding of resistance patterns, and;
  • Improves controls of emissions and measures to prevent antibiotics in the environment.

Read more in The Parliament Magazine article by Engblom, Gestrin and Schaldemose here

The Nordic Council is the parliamentary foundation for Nordic cooperation, established in 1952, consisting of 87 representatives of the national parliaments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in cooperation with Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Åland Islands.

Last updated on 11 June 2015

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