The challenge to look and learn from other countries concerning their approach to antibiotic resistance (AMR) is highlighted by NFU animal health and welfare adviser, Rebecca Veale, as one of her conclusions after attending a recent ‘Save our Antibiotics’ conference.
“From 2004-10 the Netherlands faced a huge disease challenge with LA-MRSA and Q-fever, plus there was an increased use of antibiotics in animals,” she commented, via a blog on the NFU website. “While we would not agree or want to replicate all their actions they did make huge strides in improving the understanding of AMR within the industry, making usage data transparent and allowing it to be used for benchmarking purposes.
“Farmers and vets in Sweden have also made improvements in animal husbandry to reduce usage and also promoted the prudent use of antibiotics to farmers. All things we can consider in the UK.”
Ms Veale (pictured above) was less impressed with certain other parts of the conference discussion, adding that while some of it was accurate, other aspects were “frustratingly inaccurate”.
“But what was apparent is the appetite to embrace and work more cohesively on the challenge that AMR poses to both human and animal health, nationally, within Europe and globally,” she said, adding her appreciation of the “great steps forward in reducing antibiotic usage” in the poultry sector as was evident in the recent British Poultry Council report Leading the way in responsible use of antibiotics.