The critical nature of antimicrobial resistance has been well documented by experts across the globe, and the inappropriate use of drugs in livestock farming is widely recognised as a contributory risk.
The Government-appointed O’Neill Review found that there is “compelling” scientific evidence that antibiotic resistance is being transmitted from farm animals to humans and states that this warrants a significant reduction in farm antibiotic use. The recent finding of colistin-resistant E. coli from pigs and humans in England and Wales is the latest sign that the future efficacy of our antibiotics is under threat.
And yet, the overuse of these vital medicines within the farming sector continues.
Across Europe, twice as many antibiotics are used in farm animals than are used in humans. Routine, purely preventative dosing of groups of healthy animals remains legal within the EU, despite opposition from the European Medicines Agency and several European countries.
In the UK, veterinary use of antibiotics that have been classified as “critically important for humans” is at an all-time high. Nearly 90% of UK farm antibiotic use is for group treatments of pigs and poultry, which are often routine.
Our 2016 conference aims to unite both health and agricultural stakeholders behind an effective plan to reduce the use of antibiotics in farming. The conference will bring together international stakeholders and experts; from policy-makers, health professionals, livestock farmers and veterinarians, to scientists, civil-society and environmental groups. The event will explore practical steps to reduce farm antibiotic use; drawing on successful interventions taking place across the EU and internationally.
We hope you will be able to join us. Find out more and book your place.