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1999 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 370/5

economically most advantageous offer and where the value of the work is equal to or more than
ECU 5 million a transparent public invitation to tender must always be issued.

Does the Commission believe, therefore, that it is necessary and advisable to check that the procedure
followed by the above-mentioned borough council was lawful, bearing in mind that it clearly does not
comply with the criteria that administrative measures should be economic, transparent and public, since,
in flagrant breach of the principle of free competition, no invitation to tender was issued which would
have enabled all eligible undertakings to take part on an equal footing in the tender procedure.

(1) OJ L 209, 24.7.1992, p. 1.

Supplementary answer
given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(29 June 1999)

Further to its answer of 19 October 1998 (1), the Commission is now able to communicate the following

The Commission has contacted the Italian authorities in order to check whether the award of the
concession to construct the gas distribution network for the municipality of San Giorgio del Sannio was
in compliance with Community law. To be more precise, the Commission contacted the Italian authorities
a number of times in writing, and explained at a subsequent meeting with them which information was
required in order to conduct the aforementioned evaluation.

The Italian authorities have not replied. The Commission does not have the legal and factual particulars
required to enable it to clearly establish the legal nature of the contract in question and the applicable
Community regulations, or to check whether there has been an infringement of these regulations. This
situation could, however, be clarified at the meeting with the Italian authorities scheduled for July.

(1) OJ C 50, 22.2.1999.

(1999/C 370/007) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2987/98

by John Iversen (PSE) to the Commission

(8 October 1998)

Subject: Call for national registers of veterinary drug use

The European consumer’s growing desire for wholesome and unadulterated food means there is a need to
step up checks on the use of drugs in farming. Antibiotic growth promoters and the excessive use of drugs
are creating resistant bacteria and, in the longer term, people could die from illnesses such as influenza and
pneumonia because they can no longer be treated using antibiotics.

If national registers were set up to record the use of drugs in farming, it would be possible to compare
levels of use in different Member States and thus to file complaints if use was found to be excessive in
certain Member States. This would also provide a tool for conducting research into the links between
resistant bacteria and drug use. A pattern is already emerging which indicates that the number of resistant
bacteria is much lower in the Scandinavian countries, where veterinary drug use is low compared with
countries such as the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Does the Commission not think it would be a good idea to submit a proposal requiring Member States to
establish national registers of drug use in farming? At the same time, it could submit a proposal requiring
antibiotics to be made available only on prescription in the Member States, which would prevent farmers
from using drugs as growth promoters.
C 370/6 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.12.1999

Supplementary answer
given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission

(20 April 1999)

Further to its answer of 11 November 1998 (1), the Commission can now provide the following

Community legislation in both the feedingstuffs (additives) and veterinary medicine sector provides for
control measures which include the recording of data concerning the manufacture, authorisation, sale and
consumption of antibiotics.

In the feedingstuffs sector, the Commission has taken the initiative to set up a system for collecting,
from January 2000, national data concerning the consumption of antimicrobial additives authorised by
Directive 70/524/EEC concerning additives in feedingstuffs (2). In addition, the Council has adopted
Regulation (EC) 2821/98 (3) of 17 December 1998 amending, with regard to withdrawal of the authorisa-
tion to use certain antibiotics, Directive 70/524/EEC. This prohibits the use of four antibiotics as additives
in feedingstuffs in order to protect human health. Moreover, the production and distribution of
antimicrobial additives, premixes and compound feeds containing such additives are very strictly regulated.
At every stage of the chain from the additives manufacturer to the premix manufacturer and the
compound feed manufacturer, each establishment or intermediary must keep a record of the nature and
quantity of additives produced or used.

Legislation concerning antibiotics administered as veterinary medicinal products (4) provides for a series of
controls covering manufacture, marketing authorisation, prescription, distribution chain (wholesale, retail),
conditions of use and a system of pharmacovigilance which may, if necessary, include data on lack of
efficacy in the case of resistance and on supervision and control of residues in foodstuffs from treated
animals. The advisability of making the supply of veterinary medicinal products subject to prescription is
examined for each medicinal product when marketing authorisation is granted. The possibility that a
product may be used in ways other than its intended therapeutic purpose is one of the main factors taken
into consideration.

Furthermore, any person permitted to wholesale or retail veterinary medicinal products (for example
pharmacists and veterinarians) is required to register for each transaction the date, the precise identity of
the veterinary medicinal product, the manufacturer’s batch number, the quantity received or supplied, the
name and address of the supplier or recipient, and, where relevant, the name and address of the
prescribing veterinarian and a copy of the prescription.

Where a veterinary medicine containing an antibiotic is incorporated in animal feed (i.e. administered as
medicated feedingstuffs), Council Directive 90/167/EEC (5) sets out the conditions for placing those
products on the market and provides that a special prescription is required. The specific veterinary
prescription includes certain precise information, notably the medicinal premix used, its name, quantity
and withdrawal period. Details of the treatment are also required in the case of collective treatment by
medication administered through the feed.

The Commission takes the view that the above provisions adequately address the concern to restrict and
control as far as possible the use of antibiotics in the feedingstuffs and animal health sector, and does not,
for the time being, plan to propose the establishment of additional national registers such as envisaged by
the Honourable Member.

(1) OJ C 96, 8.4.1999, p. 155.

(2) OJ L 270, 14.12.1970.
(3) OJ L 351, 29.12.1998.
(4) Council Regulation (EEC) 2309/93 of 22 July 1993 laying down Community procedures for the authorisation and
supervision of medical products for human and veterinary use and establishing a European Agency for the
Evaluation of Medicinal Products B OJ L 214, 24.8.1993 B and Council Directive 81/851/EEC of 28 September
1981 on the approximation of the laws of Member States relating to veterinary medicinal products B OJ L 317,
(5) Council Directive 90/167/EEC of 26 March 1990 laying down the conditions governing the preparation, placing
on the market and use of medicated feedingstuffs in the Community B OJ L 92, 7.4.1990.