The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics has urged the Prime Minister to act on antimicrobial resistance.

In a reply to a question from Zac Goldsmith MP, David Cameron acknowledged the problem of antibiotic resistance could have “unbelievably bad consequences“, now the alliance wants Government to take urgent action to reduce antibiotic use in both medicine and farming.

A letter sent to David Cameron last month from the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics said: “It simply does not make sense to be feeding nearly half of all the antibiotics used in this country to farm animals, just so they can be kept in high numbers indoors, often in conditions that carry with them the risk of high levels of disease.”

In the measures the Prime Minister is due to announce, the urgent phase-out of the routine preventive use of antibiotics in farming must be included.

Alison Craig, campaign manager for the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, said: “Our near European neighbour the Netherlands has phased out routine preventive use of antibiotics in farming by government taking strong and decisive action and industry taking voluntary measures – so why can’t we do the same in the UK?

“It is alarming that, in this country, we don’t even yet know how many people are already dying due to antimicrobial resistance. By contrast, in the Netherlands they know there are 2 million hospitalisations per year due to resistance.

“If the Prime Minister knows there will be ‘unbelievably bad consequences’ for families, why is his Government being so slow about getting a grip on the problem?”

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