The European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) project collects information on how antimicrobial medicines are used in animals across the European Union (EU). This type of information is essential to identify possible risk factors that could lead to the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance in animals.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) started this project in April 2010 following a request from the European Commission for the Agency to develop a harmonised approach for the collection and reporting of data on the use of antimicrobial agents in animals from EU and European Economic Area (EEA) Member States.
Latest figures on sales of veterinary antibiotics (updated)
EMA publishes an annual report on the sales of veterinary antibiotics. Risk assessors and risk managers in Member States use these reports to inform antimicrobial policy and the responsible use of antimicrobials.
The latest report, published in October 2015, shows that sales of antibiotics for use in animals in Europe fell by approximately 8% between 2011 and 2013:
According to Member States, the factors that may have contributed to the decline include responsible-use campaigns, increased awareness of the threat of antimicrobial resistance, restrictions of use and targets and changes in animal demographics.
The ESVAC project has grown from reporting data from nine countries for its first report covering 2005-2009 to 26 countries from the European Economic Area for its 2013 report. These countries account for approximately 95% of the food-producing animal population in the region.
As a visual aid to the report, a new interactive database allows users to access a summary of the specific ESVAC data they are interested in, including data for a specific country or sales of a particular antimicrobial class. Users can also customise charts, maps and graphs.
- Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 26 EU/EEA countries in 2012
- Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 25 EU/EEA countries in 2011
- Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 19 EU/EEA countries in 2010
- Trends in the sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in nine European countries: Reporting period 2005-2009
Call for data - ESVAC sales data collection form and protocol
In order to obtain standardised and harmonised data on sales of veterinary antimicrobials, the Agency together with the ESVAC national contact points developed a data collection protocol and a data collection template for MS Excel based data compilation.
Although ESVAC is now moving to web-based delivery of data, the templates for data providing in Excel could be useful for countries which are not a part of ESVAC, but are planning to establish a data collection system in their country.
For the web-based delivery of sales data to ESVAC which will be launched on 1 September 2015, revised versions of the ESVAC sales protocol and template have been developed. In principle, the data to be collected via the web tool are the same as using the previous manual system.
- ESVAC web based data collection form (template) (07/07/2015)
- ESVAC web based data collection protocol (07/07/2015)
ESVAC population correction unit
The amounts of veterinary antimicrobial agents sold are linked to the animal demographics in each country. In order to normalise the sales data for the animal population that can be subjected to treatment with antimicrobial agents, a population correction unit (PCU) is used in the ESVAC as a proxy for the size of the animal population. The way the PCU is calculated can be seen in Appendix 2 of the first ESVAC report.
The Agency has held meetings on monitoring sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in Europe, bringing together representatives of Member States and other stakeholders:
- ESVAC stakeholders meeting (03/03/2015)
- ESVAC workshop on testing of system for data collection by species (09/02/2015)
- ESVAC stakeholders meeting (05/02/2014)
- ESVAC stakeholders meeting (18/03/2013)
- ESVAC annual network meeting 2012 (14-15/02/2012)
- Report from the Workshop on collection of data on antimicrobial agents by species and on unit(s) of measurement (13-14/10/2011)
- Meeting with stakeholders on monitoring sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in Europe (28/09/2010)
- Meeting on monitoring of sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in Europe (25/11/2009)
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- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network
- European Commission: Antimicrobial resistance
- World Health Organization (WHO) Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance
- WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology: ATCvet
- European Food Safety Authority: Antimicrobial resistance