Opinion Former Article

NOAH: 2007 animal antimicrobial figures are the lowest yet

NOAH has welcomed the publication by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate of the 2007 figures for antimicrobial use in the UK. The report showed the lowest amount of antimicrobials used in animals since publication of the figures started 10 years ago.

"Those involved in livestock faming continue to be actively involved in reducing the need to use antibiotics, for example through the work of RUMA." said NOAH chief executive Phil Sketchley. "Antibiotics continue to be used responsibly by the veterinary profession and livestock farmers, for the benefit of animal health and welfare. While we agree with the sentiment 'as little as possible', the other side of the coin 'as much as necessary' is equally true to ensure animals are healthy and do not suffer from bacterial infections. These usage figures show not only the commitment of veterinary surgeons and farmers to reducing the need to treat animals, but also shows their commitment to the health and welfare of their flock or herd."


Notes for editors

1. For further information contact Phil Sketchley or Alison Glennon at NOAH on 020 8367 3131, or by email noah@noah.co.uk or visit the NOAH website www.noah.co.uk
2. NOAH represents the UK animal medicines industry. Its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals
3. RUMA (The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance) was set up in November 1997 to promote the highest standards of food safety, animal health and animal welfare in British livestock farming. There are guidelines for the responsible use of antimicrobials in pigs, poultry, cattle, sheep and fish, as well as others for the responsible use of vaccines. See www.ruma.org.uk for more information. RUMA is a non governmental non profit making organisation which includes members at all stages of food production chain.
4. The report on sales of antimicrobial products in 2007, produced by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, shows there is an overall 18 tonne decrease in sales of veterinary antimicrobials to 387 tonnes, the lowest in the 10-year series of such reports. See www.vmd.gov.uk for a full copy of the report.

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