NOAH welcomes publication of the UK-VARSS report

NOAH has welcomed the latest annual Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance Sales and Surveillance (UK-VARSS) report, published by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

Published last month, the report showed sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals as having reduced by 53% in just four years between 2014- 2018 and is a sign of the commitment of those involved with producing food from animals to playing their part in tackling AMR.

NOAH’s chief executive Dawn Howard said: “These results demonstrate the power of working together. Much work has been done through RUMA, the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance, and NOAH has been involved with its Targets Task Force.

“Our particular focus has been on the development of our AMBP (Animal Medicines Best Practice) training programme, launched last year and proving to be a really useful tool for farmers and vets, particularly since it is now a way for dairy farmers to be compliant with recent Red Tractor dairy standards changes.”

Ms Howard added: “It is also encouraging to see, in parallel with the reduction in need for antibiotics, a parallel rise in vaccination of cattle and sheep, to one of the highest levels in seven years. We believe this shows farmers understand better the role good welfare and husbandry plays in helping reduce the risk of disease spread, and therefore the need for antibiotic treatments.

“Nevertheless, it is important to remember that, when animals suffer from bacterial infections, it is responsible that a vet prescribes the appropriate antibiotic to protect their health and welfare.”

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