Chief Medical Officer highlights veterinary use of antibiotics
In a new report, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, highlights the threat of infections increasingly becoming resistant to antibiotics.
The study notes that antibiotic use is not limited to humans, as a large quantity of antimicrobials are used every year in veterinary practice and in the fishing and farming industries.
Currently, evidence suggests that this is not a major cause of resistance in bacteria that affect human health (at least in the UK), although it does provide a further vehicle for the development of antimicrobial resistance.
The report notes: “The work of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and other agencies in combating the emergence of resistance is considerable and important.
“Our approach to tackling the problem of antimicrobial resistance must bring together experts in human and animal health to develop joint and complementary initiatives in this field.”
Dame Sally is therefore arguing that the national approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance should be managed jointly between the Department of Health and Defra, to ensure that a comprehensive integrated programme is developed.