To learn more about the requirements for Antibiotics and Veterinary Drugs, watch the presentation narrated by Javier Unibazo, Head of Standards.
If you want to read more about the specific indicators/requirements regarding this topic [Criterion 2.16: Applying antibiotics and other Veterinary Drugs Responsibly] and other information relating to the ‘Alignment’ and draft ASC Farm Standard (including specific questions part of the Stakeholder Survey), please click here.
These issues are also currently addressed within the existing ASC species Standards: all of ASC’s 11-species Standards can be found here.
Why is this an issue?
Antibiotics and other veterinary drugs are chemical products that are used to treat or improve health conditions in animals, including aquatic animals. Veterinary drugs include antibiotics, antiparasitic, antifungal, antiviral, hormones, anaesthetics, and vaccines. The use of veterinary drugs has provided many benefits to the aquaculture industry, allowing aquatic animal health and welfare to be improved and increasing survival, as well as economic gain and production efficiency for fish farmers.
Despite these benefits, the overuse and misuse of veterinary drugs (excluding vaccines) carries specific risks. Most important are risks associated with the development of resistance, the release of drugs or their metabolites to the environment and the presence of veterinary drug residues in final products for human consumption. Thus, strategies for the responsible use of veterinary drugs are essential.
This is why the proposed ASC Farm Standard seeks to minimise the risk that antibiotics, other veterinary drugs and non-therapeutants used in farm activities negatively impact human health, the environment and wildlife, including farmed aquatic animals.
Contact person: Javier Unibazo
Key considerations regarding the proposed revisions of the antibiotic, veterinary drug or non-therapeutants requirements
The final set of revised indicators offer improved consistency across all species and production systems, adding the rigour necessary to ensure best practices in the use of veterinary drugs, including antibiotics, and non-therapeutants chemicals. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the requirements for data provision will allow for improved impact monitoring and audit efficiency. Overall, these improvements will contribute to better assurances that can be offered to the market.
Criteria and indicators related to the responsible use and monitoring of antibiotics have been reviewed across all ASC Standards by a Technical Working Group composed of independent experts in the field of (veterinarian) medicine, academics, industry experts and related international organisations (OIE, WHO and FAO).
Due to the divergence in the current ASC Standards regarding antibiotic use, a holistic approach was chosen to compile all current indicators and reflect on these from an expert point of view based on the principle of the One Health Approach (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/one-health). In addition to improving existing indicators, this wider review has resulted in a number of proposed new indicators that differ from the existing Standards. The full rationales are provided in the consultation draft of Criterion 2.16.