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 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 Member States.
The Agency published the first report from this project in September 2011 covering the period 2005 to 2009. The report contains harmonised data of sales in nine EU countries.
The number of countries contributing to the project has increased since then, with the latest report covering 2012 including information from 26 countries from the European Economic Area (EEA). These countries account for approximately 95% of the food-producing animal population in the region.
The latest report shows that sales of antibiotics for use in animals fell overall by 15% between 2010 and 2012 in Europe.
- Trends in the sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in nine European countries: Reporting period 2005-2009
- Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 19 EU/EEA countries in 2010
- Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 25 EU/EEA countries in 2011
- Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 26 EU/EEA countries in 2012
The reports will be used by risk assessors and risk managers in Member States to inform antimicrobial policy and the responsible use of antimicrobials.
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 (05/02/2014)
- ESVAC stakeholders meeting (18/03/2013)
- ESVAC annual network meeting 2012 (14-15/02/2012)
- 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
- World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology: ATCvet
- European Food Safety Authority: Antimicrobial resistance