Game in­dus­try cuts an­tibi­otic use

New fig­ures show an­tibi­otics used in game bird rear­ing have been cut by 36 per cent vol­un­tar­ily, well ahead of the 25 per cent tar­get

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

shoot­ing and game bird or­gan­i­sa­tions have wel­comed a big fall in the num­ber of an­tibi­otics used in the rear­ing of pheas­ants and par­tridges in the uk.

Fig­ures en­dorsed by the Vet­eri­nary medicines Di­rec­torate (VMD) were re­leased in oc­to­ber, show­ing that an­tibi­otics used in game bird rear­ing were brought down vol­un­tar­ily by 36 per cent in 2017 com­pared with 2016, in­clud­ing a 53 per cent re­duc­tion for those ad­min­is­tered in game bird food.

the 36 per cent fall com­fort­ably ex­ceeds the 25 per cent of­fi­cial re­duc­tion tar­get for game birds in 2017, de­vel­oped by the game bird sec­tor and agreed by the VMD ear­lier this year. the ac­tual re­duc­tion was cal­cu­lated from vet­eri­nary records. Vets are re­spon­si­ble for pre­scrib­ing all an­tibi­otics given to game birds.

8 • Shoot­ing times & Coun­try mag­a­zine

all live­stock sec­tors have been asked by the Gov­ern­ment to re­duce their use of an­tibi­otics in the face of global con­cerns about an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance.

a spokesman for the shoot­ing and game bird man­age­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions com­mented: “these large re­duc­tions have been achieved vol­un­tar­ily and in just one year through the hard work of game farm­ers, game­keep­ers, the vet­eri­nary pro­fes­sion and the game feed trade. We wel­come to­day’s re­sults as an ex­cel­lent start to our con­tin­u­ing cam­paign for an­tibi­otic re­duc­tion.”

Pro­fes­sor Peter Bor­riello, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the VMD, said: “the sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tions achieved in 2017, the same year that the sec­tor started to col­lect and scru­ti­nise its an­tibi­otic us­age data, high­light the strong com­mit­ment of the game bird in­dus­try to bring down an­tibi­otic use. the re­duc­tions achieved in 2017 are to be highly com­mended, and are an en­cour­age­ment to all to con­tinue the good work.”

John Fitzger­ald, gen­eral sec­re­tary of ruma (re­spon­si­ble use of medicines in agri­cul­ture alliance), added: “We con­grat­u­late our col­leagues in the game sec­tor on their ex­cel­lent 2017 an­tibi­otic re­duc­tion re­sults. the en­thu­si­asm and com­mit­ment with which the whole sec­tor has en­gaged with this process is ex­em­plary.”

an­tibi­otics are used in game bird rear­ing, as in other live­stock sec­tors, to treat nat­u­ral dis­eases. their use is some­times es­sen­tial for wel­fare rea­sons but ad­min­is­tra­tion of an­tibi­otics can be re­duced through good biose­cu­rity and cor­rect man­age­ment. the lessons learned from this year’s rear­ing sea­son will be col­lated dur­ing Novem­ber at a meet­ing of vets be­ing hosted by the Game Farm­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion.

“These re­duc­tions have been achieved vol­un­tar­ily in one year”

Re­quired to cut an­tibi­otics by 25 per cent, the game in­dus­try has re­duced us­age by 36 per cent

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