Animal health

Healthy animals play an important role in the efficiency of the agricultural sector and the safety of foods. To maintain animals' health, they require good husbandry conditions, effective prevention against and combating ofanimal diseases and animal epidemics, suitable feed and effective authorised veterinary medicinal products.

In Germany, animal health is safeguarded by legislation and the veterinary administration. As animal diseases do not stop at national borders, the Federal Ministry works continuously with the veterinary authorities of other Member States and third countries.

The Federal Ministry provides information on animal diseases such as swine fever.

five piglets in the barn with straw
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Overview of topics

African swine fever (ASF): The BMEL asks for vigilance and prevention

Since 2014 ASF has appeared in many different EU countries. This animal disease, which is highly prevalent in pigs and wild boar, has long been concentrated in countries (south) east of the EU and spreads from there.


Questions and Answers on African Swine Fever (ASF)

African swine fever (ASF) is a severe viral infection which exclusively affects pigs (domestic and feral pigs) and is fatal to them. The disease does not pose a risk to human health. ASF has to-date never occurred in Germany. An incursion of ASF into Germany would have severe implications for the animals as well as for the economy. An incursion into the wild boar population would be critical, since possibilities to control the disease are limited.


"DART 2020" continues the German Antibiotic Resistance Strategy

The Federal Cabinet adopted DART 2020, the new German Antibiotic Resistance Strategy, on 13 May 2015. This continues and reinforces the efforts initiated in 2008 to fight antibiotic resistances.


Antibiotics in agriculture

Antibiotics are the most important instrument for the treatment of infectious diseases. However, Germany is also seeing an increase in cases of antimicrobial resistance. Due to this, drugs may no longer be effective in diseased people or animals. As each use of antibiotics can produce resistance it must be ensured that antibiotics are only used when it is absolutely necessary, especially in animals used to produce food.


16th AMG Amendment

Infections caused by bacterial pathogens are treated with antimicrobials in both humans and animals. Resistant bacteria have the ability to protect themselves from the action of antimicrobials and thus impair the efficacy of these medicinal products.


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