‘Most antibiotic resistance in human infections is not of farm-animal origin’

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has refuted claims that most antibiotic resistance in human infections is of farm-animal origin.

Robin Hargreaves, President, British Veterinary Association, rejected the claims which were made in an article in The Sunday Times recently, which said that antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to our ability to fight disease, and has the potential to become a global catastrophe.

Hargreaves said that the lack of oversight and regulation of antibiotic use outside Europe is a serious cause for concern, but rejected the claim that the scientific consensus is that most antibiotic resistance in human infections is of farm-animal origin.

He said, in reality the opposite is true, as was recognised by the government’s UK five-year antimicrobial resistance strategy, published last year. It states: “Increasing scientific evidence suggests that the clinical issues with antimicrobial resistance that we face in human medicine are primarily the result of antibiotic use in people, rather than the use of antibiotics in animals.”

However, he said that does not mean that those working in the animal health sector are complacent. He also said that the British Veterinary Association has been leading the call for the responsible use of antibiotics both in the UK and across the globe.


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