Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA and Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Robert Huey have launched an Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) awareness campaign across Northern Ireland.
The DAERA MyNI led digital marketing campaign aims to highlight the risk of AMR to the agricultural sector and provide important advice on how farmers can contribute to the “One Health” fight against AMR whilst simultaneously protecting and improving animal health and welfare.
Launching the campaign Minister Poots said: “Antimicrobial Resistance awareness week carries a very important warning to farmers about the dangers to animal health of over reliance on anti-biotics amongst herds. Recently published data indicating a 42% reduction in UK antibiotic sales, in food producing animals since 2011, placing us 5th lowest across 31 European countries is an achievement to be celebrated. However we must continue the fight against AMR and strive for further improvement.
“I have launched the MyNI AMR awareness campaign today to provide important advice on the responsible use of antimicrobials. The campaign will highlight the key issues, enable you to make a pledge to stop AMR, outline the training available through the Farm Family Key Skills program and provide guidance on preparing a herd health plan in conjunction with your vet.”
“I encourage farmers to work closely with their private vet and take forward the development and implementation of a Herd Health plan which will deliver improved farm animal husbandry and disease control measures thereby ensuring the responsible use of antimicrobials.”
Discussing the AMR campaign CVO Dr Huey said: “Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most serious threats to both public and animal health across the world, and which is forecasted, if unchecked, to cause 10 million deaths per year by 2050. As microbes evolve, new strains emerge that cannot be killed by antibiotics. One of the main drivers for the emergence of these drug resistant microbes is the over-use and inappropriate use of antibiotics in both humans and animals. The agricultural and veterinary sectors have a key role to play in partnership with Government in contributing to the “One Health” approach, and ensuring the continued availability of effective antimicrobials across the human and animal health sectors.”