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UK veterinary antibiotic sales lowest in 25 years
Sales of the highest priority critically important antibiotics fell by 29 per cent between 2016 and 2017.
Report shows 18 per cent fall between 2016 and 2017

Sales of veterinary antibiotics in the UK have fallen to their lowest level in 25 years, according to a report published by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.  

The 2017 UK Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance (VARSS) report shows that sales of veterinary antibiotics fell by 18 per cent between 2016 and 2017 to reach a low of 37mg/kg. Sales have also fallen 40 per cent since the publication of the UK AMR strategy in 2013.

The report also found that sales of the highest priority critically important antibiotics fell by 29 per cent between 2016 and 2017 to 0.8 per cent of sales.

Rural affairs and biosecurity minister Lord Gardiner said: “These results show an encouraging reduction of antibiotic use in pigs, poultry and other food-producing animals. I hope that the results will set a further example for our food and farming sectors to tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

“As we know, good farm management, biosecurity and animal husbandry systems are crucial to achieving this.

The UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, added: “A 40 per cent drop in sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals between 2013 and 2017 is an excellent achievement. This is the result of year-on-year improvement in training, stewardship, stockmanship and disease control.

“I praise the industry for their commitment to successfully deliver responsible use of antibiotics and reductions. We must continue to champion infection prevention and disease control to ensure high animal health standards and the optimised use of antimicrobials.”

The VARSS report provides the previous years’ data on the quantity of authorised antibiotics for use in animals sold throughout the UK and results from surveillance programmes looking at antibiotic resistance in animals.

This year’s report for the first time presents data on the use of antibiotics in the beef, trout and salmon industries, in addition to meat poultry pig, dairy, game bird and laying hens industries. 

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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.”