Milestones in prudent use of antimicrobials in animals in Finland

Year

Measures taken in Finland

1949

Legislation banned veterinarians to take profit from the sales of medicines, restricted dispensing of medicines and set sulphonamides and penicillins for internal use prescription-only-medicines.

1964

The marketing authorisation system for medicinal products was established.

1983

Resistance monitoring in Salmonella began.

1995

Monitoring the consumption of veterinary antimicrobials began. Results are annually published by Fimea and can be found on Fimea's website
Special guarantees for Salmonella – A national Salmonella control programme for poultry, pigs and bovines, meat thereof and eggs was approved.

1996

Discontinuation of the use of all antibiotic feed additives.
First recommendations for the use of antimicrobials in animals and examples for antimicrobial treatments of the most common infectious diseases in animals.

1997

The first human – veterinary consensus meeting on AMR was held and common goals in combatting AMR were set.

1998

Systematic control of veterinarians as regards the use, prescribing and dispensing medicines began.

1998

Recommendations for the use of (fluoro)quinolone antimicrobials in animals were published by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Marketing authorisations of veterinary antimicrobials were renewed.

1999

Legislation banned the use of human last resort antimicrobials in animals.
A joint policy against AMR in human and veterinary sectors was published.
Also a joint report on AMR monitoring in human and veterinary isolates was published(FINRES 1999 report).

2000

National zoonosis task force was established.

2001

Herd health programmes for broilers, pigs and dairy and beef cattle started.

2002

A systematic resistance surveillance (Finres-Vet) for zoonotic bacteria, indicators and animal pathogens is established. Reports can be found here
Rules on the use and dispensing antimicrobials in animals are updated, herd health programmes become a prerequisite for farms to obtain antimicrobials for infections occurring later on.

2003

The first updated of indication-based recommendations for the use of antimicrobials against the most common infectious diseases in animals. Original recommendations were published 1996.

2004

Finnish Zoonoses strategy 2004-2008 was published.

2006

Legislation banned the use of antimicrobials in prevention, eradication or treatment of salmonellosis in poultry.

2007

Finnish Zoonoses Centre was established.
A task force on antimicrobial treatments in animals is established.

2009

Second update of the indication-based recommendations for the use of antimicrobials in infections in animals.

2010

Recommendations for the prevention and control of the MRSA infections in animals were published.

2011

Legislation banned the use of antimicrobials in prevention, eradication or treatment of salmonellosis in swine and bovines.

2012

A joint human and veterinary AMR Task Force was appointed.

2013

Finnish zoonoses strategy 2013-2017 was published with the special emphasis on AMR.

2014

Obligation to notify occurrence of ESBL/AmpC and CPEs in animals (bovine, swine, poultry, equine, ovine, caprine, aquaculture, companion animals, fur animal) and for laboratories to submit the isolated to the National Reference Laboratory.
New legislation on medication of animals emphasises the role of veterinarian. A number of conditions is set down in national legislation that veterinarians should respect when deciding to prescribe antimicrobials. These include requirement to make a clinical or microbiological diagnosis before instituting treatment. When using certain antimicrobials (e.g. 3rd generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones), a microbiological diagnosis or relevant epidemiological data should be available to show that no other antimicrobials would be effective. Where an animal or group of animals need to be treated repeatedly for the same condition, the veterinarian is required to confirm the diagnosis and to carry out a susceptibility test at least annually.

2016

Third update of the indication-based recommendations for the use of antimicrobials in infections in animals. You can find them here.

2017

National action plan 2017-2021 on antimicrobial resistance is published. You can find it here.