According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the main threats to health that humanity will have to confront over the next decades. The emergence of microbial resistance to antibiotics implies that the latter lose their efficacy: they stop being effective in treating common illnesses. AMR currently causes 25,000 annual deaths in Europe, with concomitant losses of 1.5 billion euros from medical expenses along with diminished productivity. It is estimated that AMR is responsible for more than 700,000 annual deaths worldwide. In 2050 it will become the most frequent cause of mortality, surpassing cancer.
The veterinary sector is one of the main users of antibiotics; thus, on a European level, several programs have been initiated with the purpose of improving how those medicines are managed. The goal is to reduce their use over the next years. EU legislation, on the other hand, has established a series of control measures designed to avoid that antibiotics applied by vets become part of the food chain. In that sense, the legislation establishes that all operators in the food and animal feed sector are directly responsible for consumer safety of the foodstuffs they produce or sell.