In accordance with the EU guidelines on the control of antimicrobial resistance in the veterinary field, the Ministry of Health:

  • ensures the implementation of the requirements set out by European legislation in the development and production of veterinary medicines containing antibacterial substances;
  • provides for the implementation of package leaflets of antimicrobials used in veterinary medicine, by requiring the inclusion of specific warnings to ensure their prudent use;
    Please consult the Veterinary Drug Formulary
  • develops national guidelines, such as those issued in 2012 for the preparation, execution and management of controls on the distribution and the use of veterinary medicines. These contain operational instructions, including specific guidelines on antimicrobials, for competent Authorities for the programming and implementation of official controls harmonized throughout the national territory, based on the risk categorization of all structures subject to pharmaco-surveillance audits;
  • provides recommendations on the correct and rational use of antimicrobials. An example is the Biosafety and correct and rational use of antimicrobials in zootechnics manual, which deepens the problems arising from the improper use of antimicrobials in animal husbandry. It also provides specific guidance, for some animal species (pigs, poultry and rabbits), aimed at limiting the spread of antimicrobial resistance on farms, as well as general information on good farming practices, mainly biosafety, hygiene and welfare measures in order to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases;
  • coordinates the collection of sales data of veterinary medicines carried out by marketing authorization holders (AH) and transmits them to the EMA in the framework of the ESVAC project; it also coordinates the collection of data relating to the volumes of prescription issued at national level. Cross-referencing such data allows to assess the proper use;
  • prepares, coordinates and supervises the harmonized monitoring Plan on antimicrobial resistance of zoonotic bacteria and commensals in accordance with Decision 2013/652/EU and prepares the annual Report;
  • supports Trade Associations in the preparation of voluntary plans for the responsible use of veterinary medicines and for the fight against antimicrobial resistance in specific production sectors;
  • supervises training and information activities for farmers and veterinarians on the informed use of antimicrobial and chemotherapeutic agents promoted by both Organizations and farmers and veterinarians’ Associations and promotes awareness campaigns;
  • maintains a computer system for digitization and traceability of the whole chain of veterinary medicines.

Tracing veterinary medicines both in terms of sale – from the producer to the final recipient (farmer, veterinary clinic etc.) and in terms of prescription – from the veterinarian to the administration to the single animal or group of animals – allows to cross referencing data in order to ensure an effective pharmaco-surveillance system and to provide a more accurate picture of the actual consumption of antimicrobials (e.g. per type of farming, that is to say per animal species and production type). 

This is a fundamental tool for the risk assessment and the management of antimicrobial resistance. It allows to intervene in the most targeted and effective way possible to reduce the improper use of antimicrobials.

In line with the principles of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan (GAP) adopted in 2015 by WHO (World Health Organization) and supported by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), the Italian Ministry of Health built National Plan (PNCAR) taking a multi-sectorial "One Health" approach with a focus on Animal Health and food safety

Please consult:

The Istituti zooprofilattici sperimentali, intended as diagnostic service for animal diseases and diseases transmissible to humans (zoonoses), represent an important support for independent veterinarians in the framework of their clinical activity, since they provide, upon request, specific diagnostic services for the assessment of antimicrobial resistance (susceptibility testing).

At the IZS of Latium and Tuscany there is the National Reference Centre/ National Reference Laboratory (CNR-LNR) for antibiotic resistance. Integrated data on antibiotic resistance in bacterial agents of animal origin required by community directives are provided to the CNR-LNR from the territory.

Such data are included in the database maintained by the laboratory. Data are used for the preparation of the annual reports required by the EFSA and for other national needs.

On the National Reference Center website veterinary surgeons can also find a series of "pills", designed to provide independent information on critical aspects related to some classes of antibiotics registered for veterinary use, promoting awareness of the "principles of prudent use" in animals.

Data di pubblicazione: 19 gennaio 2017, ultimo aggiornamento 15 febbraio 2019

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