Vets welcome Government commitment to global AMR action

16 September 2016

BVA welcome the Government's commitment to viewing AMR as an international issue

Earlier this year the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), chaired by Lord Jim O'Neill, issued their final report and recommendations for tackling drug-resistant infections globally. Today (16 September 2016) the British Government have issued their response, outlining their reaction to the recommendations in the final report.

Responding to the Government's response, BVA President Sean Wensley said:

"AMR is a global issue that the veterinary profession is deeply concerned about, as it threatens our ability to treat animals and protect human health, so we welcome the Government's commitment to viewing AMR as an international issue and to supporting action at home and globally.

"It's encouraging that the response also emphasised the need for all health sectors to play their part in ensuring positive steps are taken to preserve these essential drugs for future generations, with the reduction of antibiotic use in animal agriculture just one piece of the jigsaw.

“BVA has opposed the introduction of arbitrary, non-evidence based target setting; such targets, to reduce antibiotic use, risk restricting vets' ability to treat animal diseases, which could have serious public health and animal welfare implications. However, we accepted that evidence-based targets to reduce usage in animal agriculture were likely to form part of the solution to address AMR on a global scale – as the Government has confirmed.

“Following Lord O'Neill's AMR Review earlier this year, we called for an expert group to develop proposals on setting targets so that vets' ability to treat animal disease outbreaks is not restricted. BVA is a member of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture alliance and, as this response confirms, the veterinary profession will be working with Government to develop sector specific targets through the RUMA Targets Task Force.”

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