Livestock Antimicrobials Crucial Says NFUS


NFU Scotland is in Brussels today (Friday 18 November) - EU Antibiotic Awareness Day - to reassert the vital role that prophylactic (preventative) use of antimicrobial medicines play on Scottish farms.

The Union’s delegation, including NFUS President Nigel Miller - a qualified vet - and Dairy Policy Manager, George Jamieson will highlight the evidence that prevention, not cure is the best approach in livestock production and that science, not politics, must determine how we tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Yesterday, the EU Commission launched a new Action Plan to tackle AMR, outlining its intentions to improve awareness-raising on the appropriate use of antimicrobials; to strengthen EU veterinary medicine, animal health and animal feed laws; to fortify infection prevention and control in hospitals; to bolster AMR and antimicrobial consumption in animal medicine and to encourage collaboration and communication between industry, researchers and the public.

NFU Scotland’s President, Nigel Miller said:

“When livestock are diagnosed with microbial infections it is crucial to treat them promptly with the appropriate antimicrobial if high standards of animal welfare and food and drink production are to be maintained.

“However, increasing levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animal and human medicine are prompting a rethink on the level of controls of these vital medicines. The Dutch authorities have already redefined antimicrobial intervention on their farms and have locked vets into a phased reduction of antimicrobial treatments. It is vital that we look to science to inform political developments, otherwise the livestock industry may find itself at the mercy of knee-jerk, blunt and needlessly prohibitive legislation.

“That said, AMR must also be a priority for all livestock producers in Scotland, the EU and world-wide. Scotland can work closely and effectively with vets and researchers in order to target therapy and optimise control strategies. Scottish laboratories are already conducting invaluable research into further treatment methods, including vaccines for common infections such as mastitis.

“NFUS will continue to work closely through its EU contacts to make sure that the AMR Action Plan works in the best interests of human health and agriculture and that science motivates all legislation developments surrounding the use of prophylactic and other antimicrobial treatments on our farms.”   


Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 183/11

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