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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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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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News Shorts
BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.