08 December 2015
Reducing antibiotic use risks restricting vets' ability to treat disease outbreaks in livestock
In response to Jim O'Neill's calls for a phased reduction of global antibiotic use in livestock and measures to stop antibiotics polluting the environment, President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) Sean Wensley said:
"The use of antibiotics in agriculture is just one piece of the jigsaw when tackling AMR and we need to see increased collaboration between health sectors to ensure positive steps are taken to preserve these essential drugs for future generations, particularly as its accepted that the main driver for AMR globally is the use of antibiotics in human health.
"BVA is opposed to the introduction of arbitrary, non-evidence based target setting; such targets, to reduce antibiotic use, risk restricting vets' ability to treat disease outbreaks in livestock, which could have serious public health and animal welfare implications. The current EU legislation on vets' prescribing of antibiotics for all animals, including those intended for production, is robust and we would like to see equivalent legislation rolled out globally.”