Tag Archives: Antibiotics

UK Antimicrobial Resistance Summit

Tuesday 18th November was European Antibiotics Awareness Day and the VPRF went along to participate in the UK Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Summit organised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. The event was hosted at Nobel House by Professor the Lord Trees of the Ross, Member of the House of Lords, Nigel Gibbens, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer and Professor Peter Borriello, CEO, Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

EAAD_abx_infographic_2The aim of the meeting was to bring together livestock production industry leaders and animal health representatives from the relevant Government departments and make a unified move from raising awareness to action at a national level.

As part of the cross-Government 5 year AMR strategy substantial outcomes are expected from both the public and animal health sides. However, whilst the Department of Health and Public Health England have the single, public sector NHS to deliver their outcomes, DEFRA and the VMD have multiple different private industry sectors with different issues related to antibiotic use.

EAAD_abx_infographicGeorge Eustice MP (Defra Minister for farming, food and marine environment) and Dr Felicity Harvey ( Director General for Public Health, Department of Health) both spoke at the event to give a sense of the current position of their departments. Prof Borriello spoke on behalf of the VMD.  This was followed by the perspective from industry, with updates from the pig, poultry and dairy sectors, all of whom are at startlingly different stages in their understanding and reduction of antibiotic use.

After lunch there was a round table discussion to consider what had been heard that morning. The main conclusion was that before action can be taken accurate and appropriate data needs to be gathered in one place for in depth analysis. For example, currently it isn’t possible to separate data on sales of pig and poultry antimicrobials into which were used for pigs and which for poultry. Furthermore, sales are not representative of use. There is much work to be done.

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Weds 26th March 2014

APPG for Antibiotics

Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR): Animal use and selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Lord Trees and I attended the All-party Parliamentary Group on Antibiotics (APPG-A) discussion around the use of antimicrobials in animals. There were two speakers:

  • Mr Peter Harlech-Jones BVSc MRCVS: Past-President of the British Veterinary Association.
  • Mr Christopher Teale: AHVLA

Mr Harlech-Jones spoke about concerns around metaphylactic use of antimicrobials by vets and whether or not using antimicrobials in this way contributes to resistance in man. He re-iterated that in the RCVS code of conduct, which vets must abide by, it states that a veterinary surgeon who prescribes, supplies and administers medications must do so responsibly. He also made a strong case for better recording of antibiotic use (and adverse drug reaction data) and reporting in both humans and animals.

Mr Teale gave a broader overview of the problems raised by looming anti-microbial resistance and highlighted that some infections in man are unrelated to those in animals. He discussed swine dysentery and 5 untreatable incidences where farmers had to depopulate – sterilise – wait – and repopulate from a non-infected source. He also made clear that the situation in the UK will not be replicated in other countries and it was important for the UK to balance free trade with the risk of importing resistant infections.

Before the meeting was rather abruptly adjourned there were lots of questions to be asked.  Unfortunately, due to a last minute change of room there was limited time for questions. There will be a recap session on Tuesday the 24th June with more opportunity for discussion.

Of the few questions that were asked, it seemed that squabbling between medical and veterinary professions about who uses antimicrobials most responsibly and who has evidence of a reduction in their use might not be the most productive way forward for this discussion. We shall look forward to further discussion on the 24th June.

APPG-A

RUMA

Re-Act