Defra, BVA, RCVS, NFU, NOAH and RUMA take the issue of antimicrobial resistance very seriously and are committed to working closely together, and with all areas of the animal health sector, to address the grave threat that this represents, both to public and to animal health.
Veterinary, farming and pharmaceutical bodies all recognise and support the need for united action, and welcome the publication of the UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.
Antimicrobial resistance, and predominantly antibiotic resistance, can only be addressed by a strong and integrated ‘One Health’ approach – with both human and animal health sectors working together, as reflected in the key aims and ‘call to action’ outlined in the Strategy.
It is clear that the best way to minimise disease is, wherever possible, to prevent it developing in the first place – and when we do use antibiotics we must all do so responsibly; using the right medicine, at the right dose and at the right time. There are already clear guidelines in place for vets and farmers, and we will continue to promote and reinforce these key messages – and to provide vets, farmers, and pet owners with the information and tools they need to make the right decisions.
At the same time the very complex nature of the factors that cause and spread resistance have to be recognised and understood. Development of the evidence base – through research, and through strengthening our systems for monitoring antibiotic use and trends in resistance, will help us all to understand the most effective ways to address this issue.
We all have our part to play in combating antibiotic resistance, and the new 5 year Strategy clearly shows the path we all need to take together to protect ourselves and our animal population.