Be ‘pragmatic’ on antibiotics, Gwyn Jones tells EU

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Gwyn Jones (centre): the challenge is "responding" to politics
Gwyn Jones (centre): the challenge is "responding" to politics

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Gwyn Jones,the newly-elected chairman of animal health for Copa and Cogeca, has used his new position to call on EU politicians to be sensible and realistic in their review on antibiotic legislation.

Jones, chairman of Copa and Cogeca’s Animal Health and Welfare Working Party (AHWWP), was elected last week. Speaking after his election in Brussels on Friday 11 December, he used his new position of authority to state the plan to “tackle antibiotic resistance” as a “priority​”.

EU ministers will sit down in Brussels today (14 December) to discuss new proposals on medicated feed and veterinary medicine, On the eve of these talks, Jones stressed that antibiotics should “be used responsibly to maintain their efficacy”.

Livestock farmers respect good animal husbandry principles and it’s our view that antibiotics must be used responsibly​”, said Jones.


He added: “All animal health stakeholders are committed to responsible use. Antibiotics should be used as little as possible, and as much as necessary. And I urge EU Farm Ministers to take a pragmatic approach during their talks on EU proposals relating to medicated feed and veterinary medicines.​”

In a wider speech touching on the key issues of his role, Jones added that the implementation of new EU animal health law and welfare initiatives remained his most pressing priority.

The former Sussex farmer and member of the UK’s National Farmers’ Union, said: ”I will work hard… to ensure that the new EU animal health law, due to be finalised in April, is implemented.​”

The challenge is to find the right balance between respecting the needs of farmers so they can continue to help solve hunger and malnutrition at the same time as responding to what politicians want.

I will also work on the different animal welfare initiatives. We already have some of the highest health and welfare standards in the world and consumers should be better informed on this.​”

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