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RUMA adopts ‘critical’ antibiotics list
UK farmers should aim to cut the use of fluoroquinolones, 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins and colistin.

Decision means farmers must limit use of certain drugs 

Antibiotic alliance RUMA has taken the decision to adopt the European Medicines Agency ‘Highest Priority’ antibiotics list.

The decision means that UK farmers should aim to cut the use of fluoroquinolones, 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins and colistin. They should also only use these antibiotics where no other product will be effective for the condition being treated, RUMA explains.

The EMA’s list of highest priority ‘Critically Important Antibiotics’ (CIA) list was identified because of the degree of risk to human health should antimicrobial resistance develop after use in animals.

The World Health Organisation and the US Food and Drug Agency publish slightly different lists of high-priority CIAs, generating much debate about which should be observed. RUMA states that it made the decision to adopt the list after discussions with its members and with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, which itself follows the EMA’s recommendations.

RUMA secretary general Joh Fitzgerald explains that different agencies produce their own priority lists as they assess different risks: “The conclusion is that in the UK, the list of highest priority CIAs should reflect the recommendations of the EMA’s Antimicrobial Expert Group,” he said.

“This group, comprising a wide range of specialist European organisations, has made its recommendations after examining the impact the use of antibiotics in animals has on public and animal health in the EU, and measures to manage the possible risk to humans.

“Most importantly, the EMA’s recommendations are reassessed as new science emerges.”

Antibiotic sales on the EMA’s CIA list make up a small amount of the 56mg/PCU total antibiotic use in livestock. Veterinary sales data reveal the industry is already acting, with a fall in sales of both fluoroquinolones and 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins between 2014 and 2015.

Although sales of colistin were static between 2014 and 2015, this was at almost 1/10th of the EMA’s recommended level. According to RUMA, voluntary restrictions brought in at the end of 2015 mean that 2016 sales data should show reductions in colistin use.

 

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Scheme to protect wildlife and reduce flooding

News Story 1
 Natural England has announced a new scheme to improve flood protection, boost wildlife and create 160 hectares of new saltmarsh. The £6 million scheme in Lancashire will effectively unite the RSPB’s Hesketh Out Marsh Reserve and Natural England’s Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve. The completed reserve will be the largest site of its kind in the north of England. 

News Shorts
Welfare event to discuss ethical dilemmas faced by vets

Students and ethics experts will host an event on the difficult moral challenges facing vets. Ethical issues, such as euthanasia and breeding animals for certain physical traits, will be discussed by prominent speakers including TV vet Emma Milne and RSPCA chief vet James Yeates. Other topics will include how to tackle suspected animal abuse and the extent of surgical intervention.

The conference will look at how these dilemmas affect the wellbeing of vets, and explore how to better prepare veterinary students for work. It will be held at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus from 30 September - 1 October 2017. Tickets can be purchased here.