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Defra confirms commitment to tackling AMR post-Brexit
“The UK is a world leader in tackling antimicrobial resistance and our approach will not change when we have left the EU."
Comments follow claims the UK plans to avoid future EU legislation  

Defra has denied claims that the UK is planning to avoid upcoming EU legislation to cut antibiotic use on farms.

Planned EU regulations, due to come into force after Brexit, will ban the use of prophylactic antibiotics in feed and drinking water for groups of animals.

However, the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics recently claimed that the Veterinary Medicine’s Directorate (VMD) would allow this practice to continue. The group says the comments were made by VMD’s director of operations, Paul Green, during a stakeholder meeting in July.

Responding in a blog post, Defra said the comments, published by the Guardian, were “untrue” and “based purely on hearsay”.

The statement continued: “The UK played a key role in the drafting of new EU regulations to cut use of antibiotics on farms and fully support this new legislation. We cannot commit to adopting these in the UK because they do not come into force until we have left the EU.

“We are therefore not constrained by this legislation and with negotiations still ongoing, but we could even go further than this EU legislation if that is what we see fit.

“The UK is a world leader in tackling antimicrobial resistance and our approach will not change when we have left the EU. We will use Brexit as an opportunity to enhance animal welfare wherever possible.”

A government spokesperson added: “Leaving the EU will not change our commitment to tackle antibiotic resistance and the UK will remain a world leader in helping preserve these medicines for future generations.”

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.