News update:Mar 9, 2016

UK publishes Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy

National and international action on treatment, education and monitoring of bacteria must continue to be taken to fight the problem of antimicrobial resistance, UK Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said as the Government’s five year antimicrobial resistance strategy was published.

Earlier this year the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, set out the scale of the antimicrobial resistance issue and its implications for public health in her annual report. This also detailed the need for urgent action at a national and international level to slow down and stem the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

Experts at Public Health England have been actively engaged with combating the problem of antibiotic resistance for several years since it emerged as a healthcare issue. This includes efforts to ensure appropriate knowledge and information through surveillance; provision of genetic typing of pathogens in PHE’s reference laboratory; and provision of extensive guidance and support on optimal infection prevention and control practices.

All the recommendations on antimicrobial resistance made in the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report have been accepted and acted on, including ongoing work to add antimicrobial resistance to the Government’s long-term risk register, the National Security Risk Assessment.

Commenting on the newly released Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, BPC Agricultural Policy Manager Máire Burnett said: “The British Poultry Council welcomes the Government’s antimicrobial resistance strategy. We are strongly committed to the promotion of a responsible and prudent use of antibiotics in poultry production and human medicine.

“Antibiotic resistance is a complex issue and poultry producers take the matter very seriously. The strategy recognises concerted efforts from the animal health sector and refers to the BPC’s voluntary ban on certain antibiotics considered critically important for human health in day old chicks as a prime example of responsible prescribing in the veterinary sector.

“Alongside RUMA, we look forward to working with the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Veterinary Officer and play an active role in the strategy.”

World Poultry

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