‘AMR is the greatest security threat of our lifetime’

It has been said that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) needs to be seen “as the greatest security threat of our lifetime and must be to the fore in every agricultural Government decision”.

The statement came from Eamon Sheehan as he was speaking at the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust Ireland’s annual conference.

The event is underway today (Friday, November 16), at the Castleknock Hotel, Dublin.

Continuing, Sheehan added: “If unaddressed, AMR has the capability of killing more people every year than cancer by 2050. That’s one person every three seconds if action is not taken.”

Sheehan, who was originally from a suckler farm in Co. Kilkenny, and converted to a dairy farming enterprise five years ago, was speaking as one of the six Nuffield 2017 scholars at today’s event.

The scholarship involves sending the candidates on international travel in an effort to facilitate their ambition to bring about meaningful change.

He travelled to Singapore, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Germany, the UK, Holland, France and the US in an effort to gain insights for his Nuffield studies.

Sheehan’s report  – Microbial management and its importance in the dairy and beef industry – offers recommendations for how the industry can proactively develop strategies to deal with the challenge presented by anti-microbial resistance.

The Irish organisation is part of a global network through its linkages with Nuffield International.

The five other scholars presented their findings to the people in attendance. Also speaking at the event was Ireland’s “most visionary” agri-food leaders, Denis Brosnan, who delivered the keynote address at today’s Nuffield Ireland conference.

Former CEO and chairman of the Kerry Group, Denis Brosnan was described at the event as “the driving force” behind the multinational food and ingredients company.