News Roundup February 21st : NFU demand clarity on Brexit

EU Commission awards €45,000 to organisations fighting AMR

Three non-governmental organisations have been awarded in Belgium, at a ceremony hosted by the University of Leuven, for outstanding contributions that have significantly reduced the threat of antimicrobial resistance to human health. Awarded first prize by Commissioner of Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, the BEUC (The European Consumer organisation) operated an antibiotic resistance campaign “From Farm to You”, while the second-placed Soil Association received €15,000 for their campaign to end the routine prophylactic mass-medication of farm animals. Speaking at the event, Commissioner Andriukaitis said that “averting this looming threat before it turns into a public health nightmare is my most pressing priority as Health Commissioner, and as a former doctor. I count on the continued help and commitment of organisations like BEUC.”

Berlin Conference on Novel Antimicrobials to take place February 24th

A number of experts will convene in Berlin to discuss current challenges in the European antimicrobial market during the Berlin Conference on Novel Antimicrobials. The 10th annual conference, hosted by the British Embassy in Berlin, will take place on February 24th and is designed to provide a deep insight to the antimicrobials market in Europe. Among the areas discussed will be exciting strategies from the European biotech and pharma sectors as well as treatments for the future. The conference will look at the market from both financial and clinical points of view, with alternative effective strategies to currently relied upon antibiotics being a central point of debate.

Study shows that probiotics can reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock?

An AAFC research scientist has found that the anti-inflammatory effects of probiotics could improve the intestinal health of livestock. According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada results, live microorganisms could be used to improve intestinal health, preventing gut-associated diseases in farm animals. Dr. Magdalena Kostrzynska of the Guelph Research and Development Centre found that combining dietary fibre from barley, oats, rye and soy and said that “probiotics could provide options developing natural alternatives to conventional antibiotics for livestock.” Results showed that probiotics consumed with fibre can re-populate the gut with beneficial microbiota, as well as reduce inflammation and restore the gut mucus lining.

NFU demand clarity on Agriculture post-Brexit

NFU President Meurig Raymond has called on DEFRA secretary of state Andrea Leadsom to clarify the Government’s commitment to farming. He highlighted the right trade deals, access to competent workforce and a domestic agricultural policy that works for the country. Raymond said: “Over the next two years negotiations will take place which will have a massive impact on farming and Britain’s ability to have a thriving food production system.  Brexit needs to be successful when we leave the EU.” He went on to emphasize the need to stabilize both the seasonal and permanent workforce in agriculture, and the importance of unrestricted access to the European market. Leadsom responded in great detail which can be found in the story attached.

News Roundup: Cochrane Review, IFRM

Cochrane Review: Interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing practices for hospital inpatients.

On February 9th 2017, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews produced a review that highlights some good measures to be taken when prescribing antibiotics, with a mind to combating antimicrobial resistance. Using information collected from 221 studies on the subject, the studies tested interventions that fell broadly into two categories: restrictive techniques, which apply rules to make physicians prescribe properly, and enablement techniques, which provide advice or feedback to help physicians prescribe properly. The study found high-certainty evidence of interventions leading to improved prescription practices. Both restriction and enabling techniques were successful in achieving effectiveness of the intervention. The interventions reduced the duration of antibiotic treatment from eleven days to about nine, and a hospital stay from thirteen days to twelve. Those involved believe that heavy distribution of the review results could have an impact on health service and policy.

 International Feed Regulators Meeting sees critical issues discussed

The tenth annual  IFRM took place on January 30th and 31st in Atlanta, Georgia and facilitated much discussion between feed regulators from thirty-five countries around the world and representatives of IFIF and FAO. Organised by IFIF (International Feed Industry Federation) the meeting proved to an important platform to allow discussion topics including Feed Safety Risk Management Strategies, as well as programs on capacity development for feed safety to implement the Codex Alimentarius requirements. Also of note from the 10th IFRM was the introduction of a workshop on actions to minimize Antimicrobial Resistance and some talk on feed legislation in Japan and the Philippines.

Increased Indian focus on data collection

The government of Maharashtra (India’s third largest state) has identified 2017 as a year for huge improvements in agricultural data collection. To this point, data has been collected for most farms with basic information such as land holdings and crop patterns. The idea is that over the course of the year there will take place several agricultural censuses to gather more important information that will then be fit for use by the State Agriculture Department. State Agricultural Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh has stated that “ ..comprehensive data on the agricultural sector is necessary and its proper integration would be helpful.” The direction here might be rather vague but it is good to see a step in this direction.

Canadian Animal Health and Welfare Council prepares for disease outbreak

The National Farmed Health and Welfare Council  have published six recommendations with regards to preparing for emerging disease issues. With Porcine epidemic diarrhea and Seneca Valley virus and bovine tuberculosis having seen outbreaks in recent years,  it was seen as vital that positive steps be taken in disease prevention methods. Lack of industry communication was seen as a big complaint during the outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in Alberta and Saskatchewan and as result of this, new recommendations focus on early detection, a revised collaborative approach and improved communication between farmer, veterinarian and the authorities.