Commenting at the launch of Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance today (Wed), IFA Animal Health Chairman Bert Stewart said antimicrobial resistance will only be addressed though a fact-based multi-faceted approach to antibiotic usage.
Bert Stewart said farmers will play their part, but if we are really serious about addressing the AMR issue, the major contributors are not to be found inside the farm gate, “The use of antibiotics on farms is already heavily regulated, with products only available under veterinary prescription. Farmers have shown themselves to be responsible end users of all veterinary medicines, including antibiotics.
“Antibiotic resistance is complex and can occur naturally, however scientific evidence increasingly recognises that the problem of resistance in humans comes largely from the misuse of antibiotics by humans rather than through animal medicine.”
Bert Stewart said, “It is very easy to reach a populist conclusion on this issue that does not address the real causes of antimicrobial resistance; if that is allowed to happen we will all be the losers.
“We need to consider very carefully the consequences of reducing necessary antibiotic use in animals, which can have serious animal welfare and health implications and increase production costs for very little, if any, contribution towards reducing antimicrobial resistance.”