On 19th May, the final report from the Antimicrobial Resistance Review (AMR) team, commissioned by David Cameron and chaired by Lord O’Neill, was published. The report highlights the urgent need for action to control the use of antibiotics before they cease to be effective. It warns that unless action is taken, an estimated 10 million lives could be lost due to the rise of drug resistant infections.
This report provides welcome recognition of the contribution of farm antibiotic use to the rise of antibiotic resistance in human infections.
The AMR team’s report calls for a reduction in the total use of farm antibiotics, and recommends the setting of ‘ambitious’ targets for the reduction of antibiotic use in livestock. It is clear that we cannot afford to overlook farm antibiotic use if we are to have a chance of reversing resistance trends.
The report references the role intensive farming practices can play in accelerating the spread of antibiotic resistance, and states that changes to farming systems to improve animal health must be part of the solution.
With half the world’s antibiotics being fed to farm animals, largely to prop-up factory farms, there is clearly a need for urgent change.
Using antibiotics to prop-up factory farming in the face of an impending ‘antibiotic catastrophe’ is simply unacceptable.
At Compassion in World Farming, we will continue pressing hard to persuade the UK Government and European Commission to take the action that is so urgently needed.