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AMR: Calls for collaboration without ‘blame culture’
“Antimicrobial resistance is a shared problem that must be addressed by medical, veterinary and environmental professionals collaboratively..."
BVA updates its position statement on AMR 

A one health approach without ‘blame culture’ is the key to tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has said in a new position statement.

The position consolidates and expands upon the BVA’s existing AMR policies. It makes 15 recommendations on responsible antimicrobial stewardship for vets, farmers and the government.

BVA president Simon Doherty said: “Antimicrobial resistance is a shared problem that must be addressed by medical, veterinary and environmental professionals collaboratively and not subject to a culture of blame.”

The updated position reiterates that vets should continue to be guided by the seven principles of antimicrobial use, which includes avoiding inappropriate use, monitoring antimicrobial sensitivity, working with clients to avoid the need for antimicrobials (e.g. through preventative measures) and recording and justifying any deviation from protocols.

BVA also released a new seven point plan poster for vets to display in practice.

The position also reiterates that critically important antibiotics should remain available for veterinary use, but vets should restrict the use of the highest priority CIAs, using them only as a last resort.

Mr Doherty added: “A collaborative approach to AMR, underpinned by a commitment from each of us within the veterinary profession to maintain the highest standards of stewardship in using antimicrobials, especially Critically Important Antibiotics, is the only way we can preserve these essential medicines for both humans and animals in the future.”

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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.