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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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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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News Shorts
NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”