Federal Health Minister Hermannn Gröhe and Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt Federal Health Minister Hermannn Gröhe and Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt at the joint press statement, Source: BMG/Schinkel

Fighting antimicrobial resistance together

Meeting of the G7 Health Ministers

The Health Ministers of the seven leading industrial states - USA, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Germany - met in Berlin on 8 and 9 October 2015 to discuss a number of topics, including "antimicrobial resistance".

In addition to representatives of the European Commission and the WHO, the guests also included Monique Eloit, the Secretary-General elect of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the German Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt. Federal Minister Schmidt gave a detailed report on measures in agriculture and veterinary medicine relating to the responsible handling of antibiotics and explained the German antibiotic minimisation concept for farm animals.

Global health policy had already played a key role at the G7 Summit of the Heads of State and Government held in Elmau in Bavaria this June. In the summit declaration, the heads of state and government confirmed that they would tackle antimicrobial resistances together and endorse the WHO Global Action Plan.

German Antibiotic Resistance Strategy (DART 2020)

Animals and humans are often infected by the same pathogen and treated with the same antibiotics. The occurrence and spread of antimicrobial resistances can only be contained successfully if a multisectoral approach is pursued. DART 2020 therefore explicitly focuses on the One Health approach. DART is a joint strategy of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that was launched in 2008. DART 2020 - a continuation of DART - sets out six objectives that apply equally to human and veterinary medicine. Given the different circumstances in human and veterinary medicine, the approaches to achieve these objectives differ, however.

Antibiotic minimisation by benchmarking

The German antibiotic minimisation concept for farm animals is a so-called benchmarking system laid down in the German Drug Act. The core idea of the system, which has been in place since April 2014, is to counteract the occurrence and spread of resistances to antibiotics in livestock husbandry by continually minimising the frequency of antibiotic therapy for fattening animals.

Measures taken by the G7 countries

Prior to the conference, the G7 states had been requested to transmit contributions to the Federal Health Ministry for a Best Practice brochure. This brochure includes inputs by the BMEL on the measures taken in Germany in the field of veterinary medicine/agriculture.

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