Lack of data a major challenge in fighting Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance is a major societal and economic challenge. VirtualVet can help.

The recent publication by Lord O’Neill and his team at AMR Review outlining recommendations to deal with drug resistant infections is very welcome. It is a thorough and sensible report and has been widely covered, including by The Economist.

However it is the AMR Review’s December 2015 report “Antimicrobials in Agriculture and the Environment: Reducing Unnecessary Use and Waste” which is of particular interest to farmers and vets. The opening line of the executive summary states “The precise quantity of antimicrobial used in food production globally is difficult to estimate, but the evidence suggests that it is at least as great as the amount used by humans.”

It is the absence of timely and thorough data which is most worrying. The scale of any issues cannot be properly assessed, giving wiggle room to naysayers. Also in the absence of data there can be no defense to claims and assertions made about food producers. Media reports tend to paint all farmers with the same brush; prolific antimicrobial users. There is a growing trend in veterinary towards prevention rather than cure, but without clear and accessible data, the trend will find it promote its progress.

VirtualVet is working with vets and farmers to understand and develop solutions which meet their reporting and compliance needs. These co-developed solutions will contribute to the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance.

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