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One Health report highlights fall in antibiotic use
Total sales in tonnes of antibiotics in animals and humans fell by 19 per cent between 2013 and 2017.
Findings show overall drop in resistance to critical antibiotics

Efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in both animals and humans have been highlighted in a new Government report.  

Published by the VMD, the UK One Health Report brings together UK data (2013-2017), on antibiotic resistance in key bacteria that are common to animals and humans. It also includes details on the number of antibiotics sold for use in animals and antibiotics prescribed to humans.

The report shows total sales in tonnes of antibiotics in animals and humans fell by 19 per cent between 2013 and 2017. Over this period, total weight in tonnes fell by six per cent in people but was far greater in animals (35 per cent).

It also shows that there was an overall drop in resistance to critical antibiotics. In food-producing animals, no resistance was detected in E. Coli or Salmonella to Colistin, and very low or no resistance was detected to 3rd generation cephalosporins.

A key priority for the UK government is to protect human and animal health by minimising the development and spread of antibiotic resistance,” said Professor Peter Borriello, CEO of the VMD. “I am pleased to see our progress presented in this second One Health report, which provides valuable information for us to use to progress further in tackling the threat of AMR together.

Responding to the report, a RUMA spokesperson said: “In farming, cutting the risk of resistance developing within veterinary medicine is a primary goal as we need to preserve the antibiotics we have to ensure we can continue to treat disease and – in doing so – safeguard animal health and welfare and food safety. However, we also need to ensure that risk to human health arising from the use of antibiotics in farm animals is kept to a minimum.

“We are pleased by the progress in both these areas from measures introduced to improve stewardship, pioneered by the poultry meat sector in 2012 and implemented progressively by other sectors from 2015 onwards.”

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RSPCA braced for ‘hectic hedgehog month’

News Story 1
 The RSPCA says that it is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog month’ after calls to the charity about the creatures peaked this time last year.

More than 10,000 calls about hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2018, 1,867 of which were in July. This compares with just 133 calls received in February of the same year.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said: “July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.” 

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ASF traces found in seized meat at NI airport

More than 300kg of illegal meat and dairy products were seized at Northern Ireland’s airports in June, DAERA has revealed.

A sample of these were tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, resulting in the detection of African swine fever DNA fragments.

DAERA said that while the discovery does not pose a significant threat to Northern Ireland’s animal health status, it underlines the importance of controls placed on personal imports of meat and dairy products. Holidaymakers travelling overseas are being reminded not to bring any animal or plant products back home.