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New action plan on AMR welcomed by NOAH

The UK Government’s new 5-year National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, launched today, has been welcomed by NOAH. It is accompanied by a ‘UK AMR 20-year vision’.

“These joint publications between DEFRA and the Department of Health and Social Care reinforce a spirit of collaboration between the professions that is allowing real progress to be made and will enable greater co-operation in the future,” said NOAH Chief Executive Dawn Howard.

“Echoing this, collaboration within our own sector is the way forward. We will continue to work towards the targets set across the livestock sectors through our involvement with RUMA, the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance. The farming sector’s commitment to responsible use means sales of antibiotics for livestock have been reduced by 40% over the past five years and we will continue our efforts to achieve the plan’s future targets.

“The ambitions spelt out in this plan are taken very seriously by NOAH. We are pleased that our Animal Medicines Best Practice (AMBP) Programme has been recognised within the plan, and we look forward to even more vets and farmers making use of this resource to support best practice antibiotic use on farms.

The plan also sets out ambitions in relation to the development of new vaccines and other alternatives to antibiotics.

Dawn Howard said: “NOAH welcomes opportunities to explore options for a co-ordinated research programme to develop novel and improved vaccines, strategies and diagnostics for livestock, fish, companion animals and horses, based on identified market gaps. But UK Government must deliver a regulatory environment to encourage innovation, investment, productivity and the development of new veterinary medicines, including vaccines, to help drive innovation and encourage a thriving UK animal health sector.”

She added: “NOAH’s Blueprint campaign on keeping animals healthy also supports the Government ambitions. It looks at how we can work together to reduce animals’ exposure to disease through excellent care, and to ensure they are protected should they encounter disease, through preventive healthcare such as vaccination. This echoes the AMR plan’s aim to promote taking appropriate measures designed to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases in farm livestock, with good care of our pets and horses also important.

“The Government plan offers support to help us improve the image and uptake of vaccines through proactive campaigns and encourage private investment in vaccine development – we look forward very much in continuing to work on this, and on exploring and overcoming barriers to vaccine uptake where these important products have already been developed. The value of vaccination in keeping animals healthy with good welfare further emphasises the public good that excellent animal health brings – something that is of significant importance in relation to the government’s draft Agriculture Bill. We look forward to exploring how protecting or improving the health or welfare of livestock can be incentivised.

“With the 20-year vision of a world in which antimicrobial resistance is effectively contained, controlled and mitigated, we fully embrace the ambition it includes to protect animal health and welfare, and look forward to continuing our role to deliver this,” Dawn Howard said.

Notes for editors
1.                       For further information contact Alison Glennon at NOAH on 020 8367 3131, email a.glennon@noah.co.uk or see www.noah.co.uk and www.noahcompendium.co.uk.

2.                       NOAH represents the UK animal health industry. It promotes the benefits of safe, effective, quality products and services for the health and welfare of all animals.

3.                       The ‘UK 20-year vision for antimicrobial resistance’ and the ‘UK 5-year action plan for antimicrobial resistance 2019 to 2024’ can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/antimicrobial-resistance-amr-information-and-resources

4.                       RUMA’s response can be found at https://www.ruma.org.uk/new-amr-vision-welcomed-by-uk-farm-livestock-industry/

5.                       NOAH’s AMBP programme is at https://www.noah.co.uk/farmer-training/

6.                       NOAH’s Blueprint for Animal Health is at https://www.noah.co.uk/campaigns/blueprint-animal-health/

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