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EMA report shows fall in sales of veterinary antimicrobials
Sales of veterinary antimicrobials across Europe fell by more than 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016.
Use of polymyxins in food-producing animals down 40 per cent

Overall sales of veterinary antimicrobials across Europe fell by more than 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016, according to figures published by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The figures, taken from the EMA’s eighth annual report on sales of veterinary antibiotics, show a drop of almost 40 per cent in sales of polymyxins. This particular class of antibiotics includes colistin, a last resort treatment in patients with bacterial infections resistant to other antibiotics.

They also show there was a significant fall in sales of third and fourth generation cephalosporins (15.4 per cent) and quinolines (13.6 per cent).

The results form part of the EMA’s report of the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) project. This presents sales data for the year 2016 and records annual changes in the consumption of veterinary antimicrobials dating back to 2010.

Thirty countries from across the EU and the European Economic Area submitted data on sales of veterinary antimicrobials for 2016. Of these, 25 EU member states provided figures for the period between 2011 and 2016.

The EMA attributes the results to the combined efforts of the European Commission, EMA, EU Member States, veterinary surgeons, farmers and other players in the livestock sector.

‘EU guidance together with national campaigns for prudent use of antibiotics in animals, sales targets and restriction of use of some antimicrobials in food-producing animals are among the actions implemented to reduce the sales of veterinary antimicrobials across Europe under the umbrella of the EU One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance,’ said an EMA spokesperson.

‘Led by the European Commission, the overarching goal of this plan is to preserve the possibility of effective treatment of infections in humans and animals through a framework for continued, more extensive action to reduce the emergence and spread of AMR.’

While the report shows that 25 EU member states saw a decrease in sales of veterinary antimicrobials, it also shows the situation is not consistent across Europe. Six of the 25 countries recorded an increase of more than five per cent in sales during the same period.

The EMA notes that, given the marked fall in the sales of antimicrobials seen in some countries, there is also a potential for a decrease of antimicrobial use in other countries, especially in those with high consumption.

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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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BVA Welsh Branch elects new president

Veterinary surgeon Ifan Lloyd was elected president of the BVA Welsh Branch at its AGM on 25 June.

Ifan has worked mainly in mixed practice since graduating from Cambridge University in 1988. He was a partner at St James Veterinary Group for 23 years and has continued to work part time at the practice since retiring in 2017.

He is passionate about animal health and disease eradication. He is a director of Cefn Gwlad Solutions, a company set up to lead bovine TB programmes in collaboration with other stakeholders. He is also director of lechyd Da (gwledig), the bTB testing delivery partner in South Wales.

Ifan said, “As a founding member of BVA Welsh Branch I am honoured and delighted to be elected as President. I have been passionate about representing the veterinary profession in Wales for many years and I plan to use this experience to represent my colleagues to the best of my abilities.”