Antimicrobial Resistance and the Importance of Screening
At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, secretary of state for health Matt Hancock stated bluntly, antimicrobial resistance needs treated as a ‘global health emergency’ so as to a avoid global calamity. He went on to lay out the UK’s 20 year plan to drastically cut the use of antibiotics across all sectors. This includes agriculture, where UK farmers have already made significant progress in addressing the issue. Since the last antibiotic reduction strategy was published five years ago, the UK livestock industry has managed to achieve an impressive 40% reduction in their use, something this new plan seeks to build on.
The goal of reducing antibiotics use, must of course be balanced with the imperative to protect the health and welfare of production animals by safeguarding them from epidemic diseases. This is something recognised by the British Veterinary Association. Their policy on the issue accepts that while antibiotics are an essential weapon in the fight against disease, they must only be used when necessary. Antimicrobials should never be used as means to prop up poor farm biosecurity and management practices.
One of the methods for farmers to cut the use of antibiotics is by taking a preventative approach towards the health of their animals. Regular screening and monitoring can help drastically limit the spread of disease around, and between, farms. Biobest Laboratories offer testing for a wide range of infectious diseases that can afflict farm animals, and our expert team of vets are on hand to provide result interpretation and advice on disease eradication strategy.