A knowledge center on the consumption of antibiotics in farm animal production and antibiotic resistance has been started in Belgium by a consortium of Belgian organizations related to agriculture.
Known as AMCRA (Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance in Animals), and based in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Ghent for an initial period of five years, the center aims to collect and analyze all available data concerning antibiotics given to animals in Belgium as a guide to future policies.
Results on antibiotic utilization will be supplied by the existing Belgian veterinary surveillance unit BelVetSac, while information on national sales will come from the Pharma.be organization that represents nearly all Belgian producers or distributors of such products. National feed association Bemefa is adding data for medicated premixes and complete feeds manufactured by its members. Various statewide programs will be the source of inputs on the prevalence of antibiotic resistance nationally.
The initiative also has the backing of farmers' unions from both the Flemish and the Walloon parts of Belgium and the association of veterinarians, along with federal agencies covering food safety and consumer protection.