Industry in the UK defends farms over use of antibiotics

Agriculture experts have hit back at criticism over antibiotic use on farms, calling for stronger regulation within human treatment.

The NFU, Bpex and the 
Responsible Use of Medicine in Agriculture alliance (RUMA) have said legislation should focus more 
on doctors’ prescriptions than on farm animal treatments to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Reacting to a call by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), The Soil Association and Sustain to reduce antibiotic use on farms by 50% by 2015, RUMA said: “The report misses a great opportunity to help highlight the importance of both medical and veterinary practitioners working together to help preserve the 
efficacy of antimicrobials for both human and animal health.
The organisation stressed the rarity of transfers of resistant 
bacteria from animals to humans, and the importance of antibiotics 
to maintain food safety standards. 
“Safe food comes from healthy animals and antibiotics are 
essential to treat bacterial 
infection in Britain’s farm animals and pets, as they are for people,” RUMA added.

The NFU re-asserted its commitment to tackle AMR, but said the imposition of legal controls on the use of antimicrobials in animals would not solve the problem in humans. “This is a disproportionate response to the precautionary principle and is resulting in policy that is not evidence-based,” an NFU spokesperson said.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of safefood Knowledge Network to add comments!

Join safefood Knowledge Network