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New five-year plan against AMR announced
The next five-year plan will run from 2024 to 2029.
It forms part of the government’s plans to control AMR by 2040.

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched the second stage of its five-year plan, as it seeks to control antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by 2040.

The latest National Action Plan (NAP) seeks to build upon work completed as part of the previous five-year plan, and sets new ambitious targets for reducing antibiotic use.

New commitments will see the UK, including the veterinary sector, challenged to reduce its usage of antimicrobials in humans and animals. It also calls for tighter surveillance of drug resistant infections, and more incentive for industries to develop new treatments.

The five-year plan, which will run from 2024 to 2029, covers nine strategic outcomes organised into four themes.

Firstly, the NAP intends to reduce the necessity of, and unintentional exposure to, antimicrobials. To achieve this, work will focus on preventing infections, monitoring their emergence and spread, and minimising their release into the environment.

The efficacy of existing microbials will be protected by optimising their use, ensuring that they are only used when needed.

Innovation, supply and access is set to be encouraged, as the government seeks to find new vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. Manufacturers will be incentivised to make them accessible to those who need them, and to ensure their work is founded in AMR research.

Finally the UK will look to remain an international leader in AMR, supporting low- and middle-income countries as they also challenge AMR.

Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, said: “The UK has made fantastic progress in the past 10 years to reduce AMR in animals, working between government, farming industry, vets, and animal keepers to reduce the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals by more than half.
“The new National Action Plan will build upon these achievements, and I urge vets and animal keepers to continue to support the UK’s 20-year vision to contain and control AMR.”

The Responsible use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance has also welcomed the next stage of the plan.

RUMA chair Cat McLaughlin said: “RUMA is very pleased to see the launch of the second five-year National Action Plan today which further supports and drives UK efforts to tackle AMR from a One Health perspective.

“In the UK, the responsible use of medicines across UK farming is already part of everyday language, with farmers and vets working collaboratively to embed best practice for responsible use and reductions across all sectors.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Reporting service for dead wild birds updated

News Story 1
 The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has updated its online reporting service for dead wild birds.

The new version allows those reporting a dead bird to drop a pin on a map when reporting the location. It also includes a wider range of wild bird species groups to select from when describing the bird.

The online service, which helps APHA to monitor the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
NI chief vet urges bluetongue vigilance

Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer (CVO) has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of bluetongue, after the Animal and Plant Health Agency warned there was a very high probability of further cases in Great Britain.

There have been 126 confirmed cases of bluetongue virus serotype 3 in England since November 2023, with no cases reported in Northern Ireland. The movement of live ruminants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the virus is most likely to enter Northern Ireland through infected animals or germplasm (semen or ova) being imported.

Brian Dooher, Northern Ireland's CVO, said: "Surveillance for this disease within Northern Ireland has been increased to assist with detection at the earliest opportunity which will facilitate more effective control measures."

Farmers should report any suspicions of the disease to their private veterinary practitioner, the DAERA Helpline on 0300 200 7840 or their local DAERA Direct Veterinary Office.