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Northern Ireland launches five-year AMR action plan
The action plan encourages a One Health approach to the responsible use of antimicrobials.

BVA welcomes plan’s emphasis on preventative measures

A five-year action plan that encourages a One Health approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been launched in Northern Ireland.

‘Changing the Culture 2019-2024: One Health’ has been compiled by the Northern Ireland Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The launch took place on Thursday (16 May), attended by chief veterinary officer Robert Huey, chief medical officer Michael McBride and FSA director Maria Jennings.

The action plan encourages a One Health approach to the responsible use of antimicrobials with emphasis on effective vaccination and biosecurity, better hygiene, stronger laboratory capacity and disease surveillance, and investment in new therapies and diagnostics.

Chief veterinary officer Robert Huey said: “The agriculture and veterinary sectors will play a key role, in partnership with Government, in the successful delivery of the agreed actions contained within the “Changing the Culture”. A ‘One Health’ approach will give us the best chance of progress in contributing to efforts to ensure antibiotics keep working.”

It comes a week after the BVA published its updated position on AMR, which also calls for a One Health approach to tackling the issue. BVA Northern Ireland branch president Aurelie Moralis, said:

“We are pleased that Northern Ireland’s new five-year action plan on antimicrobial resistance identifies a need for collaborative, cross-sector working as crucial to tackling this serious global threat. We welcome the action plan’s emphasis on preventive measures and a commitment to supporting the development of innovative therapies and strengthening the links between research, policy and professional practice.”
 
She continued: “BVA is committed to providing continued leadership on the issue. Vets in government and private practice in Northern Ireland have already made huge strides in stewarding responsible antimicrobial use. We now look forward to seeing all government departments embedding this One Health approach, and working in partnership with stakeholders in industry and the veterinary profession to further achieve the goals laid down in this five-year vision.”

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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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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.”