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Antibiotics in farming hits the headlines

Radio 4’s flagship news programme, Today, discussed the severity of antibiotic resistance, and the role of agriculture this morning.

It featured comment from representatives of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, of which Compassion is a member, who highlighted the urgency of tackling antibiotic overuse in farming.

And today, along with the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) and Medact, the Alliance is holding a seminar on ‘Antimicrobial resistance - the threat to health, and the need for antibiotic stewardship in the farming sector’.

It is clear that the subject matter is gaining traction.

Professor David Heymann, who is chairing today's seminar, said on Radio 4: “We have to tackle the use [of antibiotics] by farmers, in medicine – a whole series of activities.”

While the medical and human health community is fast recognising the need for greater control of antibiotics in human health, there is less awareness of the issues concerning antibiotic use on farms.

The health community needs to scrutinise the development and implementation of appropriate measures for antibiotics in farming.

As an expert at the RSM seminar today said: “Antibiotic microbial resistance effects our daily lives in every country.”