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FVO audit series on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Member States

The FVO has launched in September an audit series to verify the implementation of the legislation concerning the monitoring of AMR in certain animal species.

The preparatory work for this series was carried out in close cooperation between the relevant units in Directorate General for Health and Food Safety, the EURL (EU reference laboratory) and EFSA (European Food Safety Agency).

This preliminary phase includes two pilot audits in Denmark - which was finished this week - and Germany (before the end of the year). Based on the experience gained during these audits and on their outcome, six additional FVO audits will be carried out in Member States in 2016.

The main objective of this work is to evaluate whether the official monitoring and reporting systems in place in Member States ensure the requirements foreseen in Decision 2013/652/EU are being met. This series will also be an opportunity to gather information on best practices and to identify new initiatives to improve awareness and understanding of AMR.

The new legislation requires harmonised monitoring systems in the EU, promotes comparability between the Member States and between the human and veterinary sectors and should facilitate the monitoring of patterns of multi-drug resistance in the EU. Reliable and comparable data are essential to assess the sources of AMR, to conduct a risk assessment process and to evaluate the impact of the mitigation measures in place.

The audits will focus on the planning and implementation of the Member State’s AMR monitoring programme since 1 January 2014. The main areas to be covered and respective audit criteria are the following: organisation of competent authorities, sampling design, performance of the laboratories involved in AMR monitoring, procedures in place for the assessment and reporting of AMR.

During these audits national experts from Member State laboratories with specific expertise in this area will join the FVO teams for the assessment of the laboratory performance.

The audit to Denmark took place in a very constructive and cooperative atmosphere and a report will be published in due course. The audit series will be followed by an overview report which will be published and presented to the Member States.