Findings come after the health secretary warned that antimicrobial resistance is as big a threat to humanity as climate change.

Tonnes of antibiotics are still being used in UK poultry farming amid growing fears over the spread of drug resistant diseases, an investigation suggests.

BBC One's Countryfile is reporting that 281 tonnes of antibiotics known as ionophores, which antimicrobial resistance (AMR) campaigners say pose a risk to human health and the environment, were sold in the UK in 2017.

Ionophores are used to prevent the intestinal disease coccidiosis which affects chickens when they ingest chicken droppings.

Campaigners say in intensive conditions where the space allowance for each chicken is less than an A4 sheet of paper, this disease is unavoidable.

John Reed, chairman of Antibiotic Stewardship with the British Poultry Council said that ionophores "are classed as feed additives" as they are not classed as antibiotics by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, according to the BBC.

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