"It will not work if we in the Nordic Region are committed to combating resistance to antibiotics, epidemic diseases and diseases transmissible between animals and humans unless the EU and the rest of the world is too. We are facing a global threat", says Anna Ljunggren, member of the Nordic Council Citizens' and Consumer Rights Committee.
The One Health model
At a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday 19 June, on behalf of the Nordic Council, Ljunggren handed over the Nordic One Health model to Anna Rosbach, the European Parliament rapporteur, for processing the Commission's action plan for combating antimicrobial resistance. The model was drawn up by a Nordic expert group in the autumn of 2011, which recommended that sustainable health, the Nordic One Health model, be exported globally.
"The European Parliament is working on the issue, but there are many challenges. For example, there is the problem of veterinary surgeons in some European countries earning money for prescribing antibiotics", says Anna Ljunggren.
Ljunggren underlined in the meeting with Rosbach that veterinary surgeons must not let owners self-medicate their animals or use antibiotics as a prophylactic, but must have their sick animals examined every time the disease occurs and if necessary write a new prescription for antibiotics. She also stressed that One Health is not just about resistance to antibiotics, but also epidemic diseases and contagion between animals and humans.
Conference in Copenhagen
The Nordic Council has been working with One Health since 2011. At the Nordic Session in November 2011 the parliamentarians asked the Danish government to put One Health on the agenda during their EU Presidency of the EU in 2012. This was done and the Danish government has organised a conference in Copenhagen.
"It is very positive that the Danish EU Presidency has listened to the Nordic Council and raised the issue. Now we must continue to work to keep this high up on the European agenda", says the Nordic Council rapporteur.
A common deposit system and the European consumer policy action plan were also up for discussion when Anna Ljunggren met her Nordic colleagues Christel Schaldemose (A) and Anna Hedh (A) in the European parliament in Brussels 19 June.