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Vets welcome new guidelines on antimicrobials
The guidelines recommend an overall reduction in the use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals.
WHO calls on farmers to stop using antibiotics on healthy animals

The British Veterinary Association has welcomed new guidelines on the use of antimicrobials in animals.

The guidelines, issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), recommend that farmers and the food industry stop using antibiotics to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. They aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their unnecessary use in animals.

In a statement, senior vice president Gudrun Ravetz said: “We welcome the WHO continuing to tackle this serious global health issue. Their guidelines echo the guidance BVA has long been issuing on the responsible use of antimicrobials.
“We agree that the prophylactic use of antimicrobials in healthy animals to prevent disease is never a substitute for good animal husbandry and management.”

Informed by research published in The Lancet Planetary Health, the guidelines recommend an overall reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals. This includes a complete restriction on antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without a diagnosis.

They also state that healthy animals should only receive antibiotics if a disease has been diagnosed in other animals in the same flock, herd or fish population. Where possible sick animals should be tested to determine the most effective and prudent antibiotic to treat their specific infection.

Furthermore, the guidelines stress that sick animals should be tested to determine the most effective and prudent antibiotic to treat their specific infection. These antibiotics should be chosen from those WHO has listed as being “least important” to human health and not from those classified as “critically important”.

Gudrun Ravetz continued: “Critically Important antimicrobials use is at a very low level in the UK, and, as recent Government data shows, is continuing to decrease. It is encouraging that WHO recognises that these vital medicines are sometimes needed, under veterinary judgment and prescription, as a last resort, to prevent the further spread of disease and to protect animal and human health.” 

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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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News Shorts
George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a 5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.