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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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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”