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Reducing antibiotics in animals ‘has little impact on humans’
RUMA said that while it welcomes the research, the model can only give an indication of likely outcomes.
Study uses mathematical model to assess complex relationship

A new study suggests that reducing the volume of antibiotics consumed by animals alone ‘has little impact on the level of resistance in humans’.

Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, researchers add that reducing the rate of transmission of resistance from animals to humans ‘may be more effective than an equivalent reduction in the consumption of antibiotics in food animals’.

The use of antibiotics in farm animals is increasing worldwide and it is thought that numbers will soon exceed the volume consumed by humans. While it is often suggested that reducing volume could have benefits to public health, there is a lack of evidence to support or contradict this advice.

To address this gap in knowledge, researchers at the University of Edinburgh developed a mathematical model to explore the relationship between antibiotic consumption by food-producing animals and levels of resistant bacteria infections in humans.

They conclude that decreasing antibiotic consumption in food animals will often have very limited benefits for human health.

Responding to the study, RUMA, the agriculture and food industry alliance, said that while it welcomes the research, the model can only give an indication of likely outcomes.

RUMA chair Gwyn Jones commented: “The study highlights the complexity of antibiotic resistance and the need for a ‘One Health’ approach to the problem across humans and animals. So while it suggests that removal of antibiotics from animal production systems is not the answer to antimicrobial resistance in humans, the food and farming sector should not in any way dilute its current focus on reducing, refining and replacing antibiotic use across all sectors.
 
“An important point it does raise, however, is that a drive for ‘antibiotic-free’ farm produce is not necessarily beneficial for human health and makes any related detrimental impacts on animal health and welfare even more unjustifiable. RUMA therefore retains its position that responsible use of antibiotics alongside well-managed, scientifically-robust reductions is the most appropriate approach.”
 

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Working animals abroad to benefit from charity tea party

News Story 1
 Dog owners are being urged to put their baking skills to good use to raise funds for sick and injured animals working abroad.

The SPANA World Tea Party takes place on Saturday 8 July. As well as the exclusive dog-friendly ‘Pupcakes’, SPANA’s fundraising pack also includes recipe ideas and tips for humans to host their own traditional British afternoon tea party.

Money raised from the event will provide free veterinary treatment to working animals in developing countries.  

News Shorts
Bojan Zorko honoured for contribution to veterinary medicine in Slovenia

Professor Bojan Zorko has been chosen for WSAVA’s Meritorious Service Award, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of veterinary medicine in Slovenia.

Prof Zorko is a specialist in canine and feline medicine, a professor of veterinary radiology at the University of Ljubljana and a director of the International Veterinary Radiology Association for Central and Eastern Europe. WSAVA president Walt Ingwersen praised his long-standing service to voluntary organisations and his commitment to teaching and research.