A new report in The Lancet claims the world is on the cusp of a 'post-antibiotic era' – that’s the warning from scientists who have apparently found bacteria resistant to drugs used when all other treatments have failed.
The researchers identified bacteria able to shrug off the drug of last resort - colistin - in patients and livestock in China. They said that resistance would spread around the world and raised the spectre of untreatable infections.
The report in the Lancet shows resistance in a fifth of animals tested, 15 per cent of raw meat samples and in 16 patients.
More information on antimicrobials can be found on the RUMA website (Responsible use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance - of which the NFU is a member).
Cat McLaughlin, NFU chief adviser for animal health and welfare, said: “The NFU is aware of an article in the Lancet about the discovery of a new gene in pigs in China that makes common bacteria resistant to colistin – a last-line antibiotic.
“This is a story prompted specifically by a scientific discovery relating to pigs in China. It is worth noting China has a completely different scale of pig production and different regimes for veterinary medicine prescribing and distribution.
“British farmers continue to work closely with the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance to ensure a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines for farm animals in the UK.”