U.K.-based MeatInfo.co.uk, an online meats trade journal, published an article this week about some U.K. agriculture organizations turning the tables on the antibiotic resistance discussion by saying legislation should focus more on human prescriptions of antibiotics rather than instituting more regulations for farm use.
Though some groups (Bpex, a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board representing pig levy payers in England; NFU, the voice of British farming; and the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA)) acknowledge that livestock producers and veterinarians also need to prudently use antibiotics, in the article an NFU spokesperson said, “The imposition of legal controls on the use of antimicrobials in animals would not solve the problem in humans.”
In a press release from RUMA, chairman Peter Allen, speaking at an international conference on the Responsible Use of Antimicrobials in Animals in the Netherlands on Nov. 14 November, said: “We must all recognise the risks to both animal and humans from antimicrobial resistance and work together to minimise them. Change should come about by evolution rather than revolution, and regulation must be based on sound, scientific risk assessment and not on inappropriate application of the precautionary principle.”
Allen further said: “Like all animal medicines, antimicrobials should be used as little as possible but as much as necessary. Part of this imperative is to try to ensure that by tackling resistance we can retain the efficacy of available antimicrobials.”