An­tibi­otic sales for live­stock are re­duced by 53%

Re­sis­tance: Re­port high­lights drop from 2014-18

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FARMING | WEATHER - BY NANCY NI­COL­SON

UK live­stock pro­duc­ers cut their use of an­tibi­otics by more than half be­tween 2014 and 2018.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est UK An­tibi­otic Re­sis­tance and Sales Sur­veil­lance Re­port (VARSS), the re­duc­tion in sales of an­tibi­otics fell by 53% be­tween 2014-2018 and the use of the high­est pri­or­ity crit­i­cally im­por­tant an­tibi­otics (HP-CIAs) fell even fur­ther, by 66%.

The re­port re­veals that be­tween 2017 and 2018 an­tibi­otic sales fell by 9%, and HP-CIAs sales fell by 18%. The re­duc­tion in an­tibi­otic use is be­lieved to be the re­sult of a con­certed cam­paign by vets, farm­ers and in­dus­try in the face of grow­ing an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance in both hu­mans and an­i­mals.

The re­port in­di­cates that most of the key vet­eri­nary pathogens re­main sus­cep­ti­ble to au­tho­rised vet­eri­nary an­tibi­otics, in­clud­ing those that have been au­tho­rised for many years, and some, such as E.coli in poul­try, show sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tions to re­sis­tance. The Bri­tish

Vet­eri­nary As­so­ci­a­tion (BVA) said the re­duc­tions were tes­ta­ment to the col­lab­o­ra­tive work to stew­ard re­spon­si­ble an­tibi­otic use and cham­pion greater dis­ease pre­ven­tion mea­sures.

“An­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance re­mains a huge con­cern for vets, which is why we must main­tain this mo­men­tum in the face of the on­go­ing global threat it poses to the health of an­i­mals, hu­mans and the en­vi­ron­ment,” said BVA ju­nior vice-pres­i­dent, James Russell.

“While it is vi­tal that we con­tinue to build upon these achieve­ments through ev­i­dence-based, sec­tor-spe­cific tar­gets to fur­ther re­fine, re­duce or re­place an­tibi­otic use, a large part of the fu­ture changes will in­volve pro­mot­ing high an­i­mal health and wel­fare through dis­ease pre­ven­tion strate­gies, such as in­creas­ing up­take in vac­cines.

“On­go­ing im­prove­ments in vet­eri­nary-led health plan­ning on farms will also help to fur­ther lower an­tibi­otic use by re­duc­ing the in­ci­dence of en­demic dis­eases.”

GLOBAL THREAT: An­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance re­mains a huge con­cern for vets, said the BVA’s James Russell

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