The report highlights where targets are already being achieved or sustained, but also looks at where there are still challenges.
The RUMA TTF Report charts yet another positive year for UK agriculture in the responsible use of antibiotics.
The RUMA TTF (Targets Task Force) targets continue to be largely exceeded, met or are on track, and where use has been needed to address disease outbreak, this has been isolated and done so in the responsible, effective and efficient manner that the UK is known and recognised for.
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate’s UK-Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance Sales Surveillance (2022) Report (VARSS) was also released today, and shows that UK antibiotic sales for food-producing animals have reduced by 59% since 2014, to 25.7 mg/kg. This represents the lowest sales to date.
“UK agriculture is proud of its work to date on tackling AMR and, as we look ahead to the future, we will naturally start to see a shift in focus from reduction, to maintenance of the targets.”
NFU chief adviser (Animal Health & Welfare) and Chair of RUMA Catherine McLaughlin
Sales of Highest Priority Important Antibiotics (HP-CIAs) in food-producing animals remain at very low levels at 0.12 mg/kg in 2022 and account for less than 0.5% of total sales.
Headlines from this year’s VARSS report include:
- We continue to see declining trends in antimicrobial consumption in animals in the UK, with the sales of antibiotics for food producing animals in 2022 at our lowest recorded level, at 25.7 mg/kg; a 59% reduction since 2014.
- Sales of HP-CIAs (Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics) have remained at extremely low levels, at 0.12 mg/kg, and account for less than 0.5% of total sales.
- Most of the livestock sectors reported reductions or maintained low antibiotic use in 2022.
- The large reductions in antibiotic use since 2014 are accompanied by overall downward trends in resistance. Our key indicators for resistance show trends of increasing full susceptibility and decreasing resistance in the indicator bacteria E. coli, presenting a positive picture for AMR trends in the UK for 2022.
Antibiotics remain key medicine
NFU chief adviser (Animal Health & Welfare) and Chair of RUMA Catherine McLaughlin said: “UK agriculture is proud of its work to date on tackling AMR and, as we look ahead to the future, we will naturally start to see a shift in focus from reduction, to maintenance of the targets.
“It is important to highlight that zero use of antibiotics, be that across animal or human health, is neither viable nor responsible. People and animals do get sick at times even with the best health care and preventive plans in place, and antibiotics remain a key medicine in the treatment ‘toolbox’ to help people and animals recover. In those situations, antibiotics are rightfully needed and should be delivered under the mantra of ‘as little as possible, as much as necessary.
“By only using antibiotics when truly needed, UK livestock keepers continue to play their role in tackling AMR and protecting the efficacy of these important medicines long into the future.”