The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has produced a briefing paper to ensure MPs and peers are well-informed about the use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine.

NOAH chief executive Phil Sketchley

The 12-page document looks at the regulation and use of veterinary medicines in the UK and answers a number of common questions on topics relating to antimicrobial resistance, such as:

  • How are antimicrobials used in animals?
  • What is the current thinking regarding the risk posed by the veterinary use of antibiotics for human health?
  • Should volume use reduction targets be used in the UK, as in other EU member states?
  • Should antibiotics critical for human treatment remain available for veterinary use?
  • Should animals be farmed less intensively?

NOAH chief executive Phil Sketchley said: “NOAH welcomed the opportunity to attend the All Party Parliamentary Group on Antibiotics meeting on animal use and selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which was held at Portcullis House in June.

“During the discussion that followed the presentations, a number of issues were discussed regarding the authorisation and use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine. In the limited time that was available, it was not possible for a full and in depth discussion to take place.

“We have produced this paper to help give further background on this topic.”

The document offers a succinct response to each question before concluding that the vast majority of UK vets and farmers use medicines responsibly

However, it warns that some suggestions put forward by lobby groups opposed to the use of antimicrobials in agriculture risk jeopardising much of the good work being done by UK vets and farmers.

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