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.
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.
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.