Farming News - Antibiotic resistance to be discussed at G8

Antibiotic resistance to be discussed at G8

13 Jun 2013
Frontdesk / Livestock


Science Minister David Willetts has proposed to use the G8 Science Meeting to raise the issue of antimicrobial resistance. The meeting in Northern Ireland this weekend will see science ministers from the Group of Eight richest nations discuss the growing problem.


In January this year, the pressing issue of growing antibiotic resistance was discussed in Parliament. Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who called the government debate, appealed to ministers to consider farm use of antibiotics and the link between this use and risks to human health, introduce better monitoring measures (including publishing surveillance data by antibiotic family and animal species, as has been pioneered in France), limit the use of critically important antibiotics (including implementing a ban on fluoroquinolones) and Improve animal health and welfare by limiting overcrowding "and the worst excesses of factory farming", to avoid the prophylactic use of antibiotics.


Mr Goldsmith said, "Factory farming interests have wielded enormous influence on government policy for many years." He suggested that any progressive moves on antibiotic use in agriculture will be "fiercely resisted by them." However, the Richmond MP warned, "If we continue to ignore the risks for fear of upsetting vested interests, we will be complicit in robbing future generations of one of the greatest discoveries of our species."


Commenting on the discussions that will take place at the Lough Erne resort this weekend, Peter Jones, President of the British Veterinary Association said on Wednesday, "We are very pleased to see that the UK is using the G8 Summit to raise awareness of such an important global problem.


"Irresponsible use of antimicrobials in both humans and animals can lead to resistance and ultimately to these vital medicines becoming ineffective. We hope David Willetts will be able to draw on the positive measures taken in the UK and Europe to encourage other nations to take appropriate action."