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Urgent action needed to tackle disposal of antibiotics - UN
Once consumed, most antibiotic drugs are excreted un-metabolised, along with resistant bacteria, through urine and faeces.
Study finds release of drugs into the environment is driving AMR

‘Careless’ disposal of antibiotics could lead to the emergence of ‘ferocious superbugs’ by driving antimicrobial resistance, according to United Nations (UN) experts.

Previous research has linked AMR to the misuse of antibiotics in humans and agriculture, but little attention has been given to the role of the environment and pollution.

This year’s Frontiers Report, released at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, suggests the emergence and spread of AMR is being driven by antimicrobial compounds from homes, hospitals, pharmaceutical facilities and agricultural run-off being released into the environment; as well as direct contact between national bacterial communities and discharged resistant bacteria.

Once consumed, most antibiotic drugs are excreted un-metabolised, along with resistant bacteria, through urine and faeces, the report says.

Evidence also shows multi-drug resistant bacteria is prevalent in marine waters and sediments close to aquaculture, industry and municipal discharges.

“The warning here is truly frightening,” said Erik Solheim, chief of the UN Environment Programme. “We could be spurring the development of ferocious superbugs through ignorance and carelessness.”

Around 700,000 people die of resistant infections every year across the globe.

Mr Solheim continued: “This needs priority action right now, or else we run the risk of allowing resistance to occur through the back door, with potentially terrifying consequences.”

Solving the issue, according to the report, will involve tackling the use and disposal of antibiotics, as well as the release of antimicrobial drugs, contaminants and resistant bacteria into the environment.

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Giraffe Conservation Foundation named BVNA’s charity of the year

News Story 1
 BVNA president Wendy Nevins has named The Giraffe Conservation Foundation as the association’s charity of the year for 2017/2018.

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation dedicates its work to a sustainable future for wild giraffe populations. Wendy Nevins said: ‘I have chosen the Giraffe Conservation Foundation for the BVNA Charity of the Year because I have always thought Giraffes were magnificent animals.

‘I also think it is important that we look at the wider issue of conservation and education across all species.’  

News Shorts
Scientists win award for openness in animal research

UK scientists have won an award for the 360ş Laboratory Animal Tours project, which offered the public an online, interactive tour of four research facilities that are usually restricted access.

The project won a public engagement award at the Understanding Animal Research (UAR) Openness Awards, which recognise UK research facilities for transparency on their use of animals in research, as well as innovation in communicating with the public.

The tour was created by the Pirbright Institute, the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol and MRC Harwell Institute.