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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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Campaign highlights ‘devastating impact’ of smoking around pets

News Story 1
 Leading vet charity PDSA has launched a campaign highlighting the ‘devastating impact’ that smoking can have on pets. The launch coincides with National No Smoking Day (14 March 2018) and aims to raise awareness of the risks of passive smoking and how to keep pets safe.

“Recent studies highlight that this is a really serious issue, and we want pet owners to know that they can make a real difference by simply choosing to smoke outdoors away from their pets,” said PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “We want pet owners to realise that, if they smoke, their pets smoke too.”  

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News Shorts
AWF named charity of the year

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) has been chosen as charity of the year by the Veterinary Marketing Association (VMA). AWF is a vet-led charity, supported by the BVA, which aims to improve animal welfare though research funding, supporting veterinary education, providing pet care advice and encouraging debate on welfare issues.

VMA has pledged a range of support, including raising awareness and funds at their awards ceremony, which takes place on Friday 16 March, as well as offering marketing support through VMA marketing workshops.