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April 2021

Welcome to our Spring newsletter

 

Last week we launched our new report Antibiotic use in organic farming – lowering use through good husbandry outlining our latest research on antibiotic usage (AMU) in organic livestock farming. Our findings from a sample of Soil Association certified farms show that these organic farmers are using four times less antibiotics than the UK national average.

We brought together an expert panel of speakers to discuss these findings at our farm antibiotic use and husbandry webinar. We considered how this project could elevate the importance of animal health and welfare in the UK’s antibiotic reduction strategies. If you missed this session, and want to catch up on the conversation, you can read the accompanying 1-page webinar factsheet and watch the webinar recording below and on our website.

Cóilín Nunan presents our report findings alongside guest speakers Helen Browning, Ed Bailey, and Kristin Bash. Chaired by Kath Dalmeny, Sustain CEO.
We have already started work on this years’ supermarket antibiotic policies assessment. For this third edition we have updated and expanded our scope to include all branded and own brand meat, dairy and egg products sold in UK supermarkets - more on that soon. If you’d like a refresh on our supermarket supply chain responsibility campaign, read our 2020 supermarket report.

We are delighted to welcome two new members to our Alliance this month - more on that below. We are proud of our One Health ethos and welcome organisations joining us from across the veterinary, medical, scientific, food policy and NGO sectors. We recently refreshed the aims our campaign so do have a read and get in touch if you’d like to join the Alliance and be a part of our work.

Suzi Shingler
Campaign Manager | Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics

Our latest report on husbandry and farm antibiotics

For our latest report, Antibiotic use in organic farming – lowering use through good husbandry we commissioned the collection of antibiotic-usage data from 211 Soil Association certified organic livestock farms and their vets, who measured the amount of antibiotic used. We found that antibiotic use in this sample of organic farms was four times lower than the UK national average.  














The Alliance is calling for the high husbandry standards prevalent in organic farming to be recognised as a solution for lowering farm antibiotic use nationwide. We want to see what can be learned from organic farming practices in order to promote higher health and welfare standards for all British livestock.

UK Whole Health Agriculture Joins the Alliance!
We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Whole Health Agriculture (WHAg) that has recently joined the Alliance. WHAg is a community of farmers, health professionals, and citizens dedicated to supporting and promoting those who farm for health and vitality. WHAg aims to help farmers discover and adopt practices that can end reliance on synthetic chemicals, antibiotics and intensive interventions. To find out more about their work check out the WHAg website and find them on Twitter @WholeHealth_Ag.
Virtual Vet joins the Alliance!
We’d also like to welcome the team at Virtual Vet to the Alliance. After watching the ASOA husbandry and antibiotics webinar earlier this month Sinead Quealy, MD of Virtual Vet, realised that not only did the Alliance data echo their own findings, but it also reflected their view that the next phase of AMU reduction in farming will require a focus on wider systemic changes in animal production. Sinead was inspired to reach out and join our alliance. To find out more about their work check out the Virtual Vet website and find them on Twitter @VirtualVet_EU.
Interview with the experts - Lisa Morgans
In our latest interview we hear from Lisa Morgans, Head of Livestock at Innovation for Agriculture, who gives us her view on how the global AMR community have responded to Covid-19, what needs to happen to reduce antibiotic usage further and what we mean by intensive farming. If you would like to feature in one of our expert interviews please get in touch. To find out more about Lisa’s work find her on Twitter @LisaMorgansVet.

In case you missed it – news from elsewhere
  • Sustain recommendations for Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELM) The Sustain alliance recently published their recommendations for DEFRA's ELM scheme. ELM will shortly replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the UK and will be based on delivering public goods on farmland. Members of the Sustain alliance in this new co-authored paper argue that whole-farm system approaches, such as organic, pasture-fed and agroforestry, should be at the heart of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and National Pilots being planned for ELM in 2021 and 2022. We support these recommendations as the latest ASOA report indicates that organic farms us fewer antibiotics than the national average.
  • Eating Better by Half The latest Sourcing Better report from Eating Better offers a vision of farming that benefits climate, nature and the health and welfare of farm animals, whilst ensuring profitability for farmers, with a guide to the sourcing of better meat for the food service and retail sectors. Drawing on the Better By Half roadmap, the Sourcing Better framework recognises that a holistic approach is necessary to raise standards across production while at the same time significantly lowering the volume of meat produced. To this end, the plan identifies eight key impact areas that need to be addressed in sourcing policies: from the way in which the animal is reared and fed, limiting the use of antibiotics, to tackling GHG emissions and nature loss, minimising pollution, water scarcity and run-off, and improving soil health. The focus is on raising animals more naturally, reducing the need for routine antibiotic use and minimising the AMR risk to human health.
  • Trade & Agricultural Committee (TAC) report The TAC recently published their guidance to Government in their final report March 2021. In it they noted the importance of combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in compliance with the WHO Global Action Plan. The committee recommends the UK Government match any tariff-free market access to the relevant climate, environment, animal welfare and ethical standards, remedying competition issues arising where permitted imports do not meet relevant UK and international standards – a key ASOA campaign ask.
  • The State of The World's Antibiotics 2021 In February the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) published a report analysing global antimicrobial resistance and its drivers. It finds that although the past five years has seen a greater acceptance of the One Health approach, countries have also reported increasingly high rates of resistance among drugs used to treat common infections. The CDDEP finds that the widespread use of antibiotics in agriculture and aquaculture is a major factor driving antibiotic resistance. The fast-growing demand for animal protein has increased the use of antimicrobials in animals; where these drugs are used not only to treat and prevent infection but also to promote rapid growth. Global antimicrobial consumption in animals is now nearly triple that of humans. The CDDEP conclude that reducing and eventually phasing out all use of antibiotics for animal growth promotion should be a global goal to ensure that both animal and human health are safeguarded.
  • Building the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network in Veterinary medicine (EARS-VET) An article in January’s edition of Eurosurveillance proposes to establish the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance network in Veterinary medicine (EARS-Vet) to report on the AMR situation. In it a strategy is presented that would establish EARS-Vet as a network of national surveillance systems and highlight challenges of data harmonisation and bias. This information could be useful to advise policymakers, explore efficacy of interventions, support antimicrobial stewardship initiatives, (re-) evaluate marketing authorisations of antimicrobials, assess risk of zoonotic AMR transmission and evaluate the burden of AMR in animal health. EARS-Vet could be integrated with other AMR monitoring systems in the animal and medical sectors to ensure a One Health approach.
Submit your news
If you would like to feature in our next newsletter please get in touch with Kat: kbutton@saveourantibiotics.eu
Make sure you’re following us on twitter
Contact us
 
The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics is an alliance of health, medical, civil society and animal welfare groups campaigning to stop the overuse of antibiotics in animal farming. It was founded by Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association and Sustain in 2009. Our vision is a world in which human and animal health and well-being are protected by food and farming systems that do not rely on routine antibiotic use.
@ASOAntibiotics @ASOAntibiotics
saveourantibiotics.org saveourantibiotics.org
Copyright © 2020 | Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics| All rights reserved.
|April 2020 Newsletter|

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Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics · Compassion in World Farming · River Court, Mill Lane · Godalming, Surrey GU7 1EZ · United Kingdom

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