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UK-VARRS report ‘demonstrates power of working together’
The report shows that sales of antibiotics for food-producing animals fell by nine per cent between 2017 and 2018.
NOAH welcomes figures showing 53 per cent fall in food-animal antibiotics

The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has welcomed the latest Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance Sales and Surveillance (UK-VARRS) report, which found that antibiotic sales for food-producing animals have fallen by 53 per cent in just four years.

NOAH chief executive Dawn Howard said the findings ‘demonstrate the power of working together’, adding that a comparable rise in vaccination shows an improved understanding of the role of good welfare and husbandry in preventing disease spread.

Published by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), the report reveals that sales of antibiotics for food-producing animals fell by nine per cent between 2017 and 2018, and by 53 per cent since 2014. It also shows that overall sales of highest priority critically-important antibiotics (HP-CIAs) dropped an additional 19 per cent between 2017 and 2018, and 68 per cent since 2014.

Ms Howard said: “These results demonstrate the power of working together. Much work has been done through RUMA, and NOAH has been involved with its Targets Task Force. Our particular focus has been on the development of our AMBP (Animal Medicines Best Practice) training programme, launched last year and proving to be a really useful tool for farmers and vets, particularly since it is now a way for dairy farmers to be compliant with recent Red Tractor dairy standards changes.

“It is also encouraging to see, in parallel with the reduction in need for antibiotics, a parallel rise in vaccination of cattle and sheep, to one of the highest levels in seven years. We believe this shows farmers understand better the role good welfare and husbandry plays in helping reduce the risk of disease spread, and therefore the need for antibiotic treatments.”

Ms Howard stressed that while the figures demonstrate excellent progress, there is still work to do.

She continued: “NOAH will be leading the #VaccinesWork campaign this autumn, not only promoting the benefits of vaccination but also giving tips to ensure that vaccines are stored and used correctly to ensure that they retain their full efficacy.

“We will also be using the opportunity of European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November to explain how our industry is united in action to promote better health and a reduced need for antibiotics. The prevention of disease wherever possible will have major animal health and welfare benefits and will also help to ensure that antibiotics remain effective in the future.”

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Cats Protection launches Christmas animation

News Story 1
 Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty’s owner, Amy Smith, said: “Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her.” 

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News Shorts
WSAVA launches certificate programme focusing on companion animals in One Health

The first certificate programme focusing specifically on the role of companion animals in One Health has been launched by the One Health Committee (OHC) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

The online programme, which is free of charge for WSAVA members, has been developed in recognition of the growing impact of companion animals in human society. Pet ownership is becoming more popular globally, and this has increased the implications for One Health, regarding the human-companion animal bond. The WSAVA OHC hopes that this course will bridge the knowledge gap between veterinary surgeons and human physicians. New modules are being added weekly, with a total of 20 modules expected to be available by early 2020.