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Antimicrobial resistance centre receives UN recognition
The centre has built strong working relationships with academic institutes and countries across the world.

Centre provides policy advice to low and middle income countries 

A centre that helps low and middle-income countries tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been awarded official designation by the United Nations (UN).

Launched in 2018, the UK International Reference Centre for AMR supports several countries, including Bangladesh and Ghana, to improve their laboratory and surveillance capacity.

Christine Middlemiss, UK chief veterinary officer said: “I congratulate the UK International Reference Centre for AMR and warmly welcome the recognition of its expertise by the United Nations.

“Enhancing global capability in reducing the use of antimicrobials and tackling the threat of AMR will be an important objective of the deep experience and expertise the collaborating agencies will provide.”

The centre brings together expertise from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). In addition to providing policy advice, it also provides field and technical support with a ‘One Health’ approach.

Since it was established, the centre has built strong working relationships with academic institutes and countries across the world. It also works in tandem with Public Health England through the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference & Research on AMR and Healthcare-Associated Infections.

The Centre is funded by Defra and has received
support from the Department for Health and Social Care through UK aid programme, the Fleming Fund.

Defra biosecurity minister Lord Gardiner, said: “This is fantastic news for the UK International Reference Centre and recognises the excellent work it delivers in tackling AMR, as well as extending the UK’s international reach.

“This work is vital to tackle the threat AMR poses to the global economy and society. The UK recognises AMR as a priority issue and we know that this challenge requires truly global collaboration.

A spokesperson for the centre added: “The designation of the UK International Reference Centre by the FAO underscores the importance of tackling AMR using a ‘One Health’ approach given the interdependence of human, animals and the environment. We look forward to our continued partnerships with FAO and nations around the world to address the unique threat posed by AMR.”

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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.”