WHO Urges Farms To Reduce Antibiotic Use In Livestock

WHO Urges Farms To Reduce Antibiotic Use In Livestock

WHO Urges Farms To Reduce Antibiotic Use In Livestock

The latter two recommendations set a critical precedent for food animal producers in the U.S. Namely, it establishes a clear, complete prohibition on use of medically important antibiotics for disease prevention and encourages significant limitations on using critically important and the highest priority drugs.

The organisation says overuse and misuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance.

Jacobs-Young noted that the World Health Organization previously requested that the standards for on-farm antibiotic use in animals be updated through a transparent, consensus, science-based process of CODEX.

"But the WHO Guidelines also expose some important differences between the global and the European - and specifically the United Kingdom - position". And the medicine used in food animals should only be selected from those WHO has listed as being "least important" to human health endnote from those listed as "highest priority critically important". Experts warn that these drug-resistant bacteria develop in large part due to the overuse of antibiotics in livestock; about 70 percent of medically important antibiotics in the US are sold for use in farm animals.

Any use of antibiotics promotes the development and spread of so-called superbugs, multidrug-resistant infections that can evade the medicines created to kill them.

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA acting chief scientist, said, "The WHO guidelines are not in alignment with US policy and are not supported by sound science".

"A lack of effective antibiotics is a threat to the health security just as serious as a sudden outbreak of a deadly disease", said the director-general of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Reduce overall use of all medically important antimicrobials in food animals.

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However, some countries have taken countermeasures.

It said in sick animals, wherever possible, tests should first be conducted to determine the most effective and prudent antibiotic to treat their specific illness.

"Strong, sustained action across all sectors is vital if we are to turn back the tide of antimicrobial resistance and keep the world safe", he added.

The WHO's new guidelines "illustrate the degree to which our regulators and large food animal producers are falling short", said Cameron Harsh, a senior manager for the Center for Food Safety, a USA advocacy group.

Antibiotics that are considered to be in the last line of defence for humans should not be used at all it says.

Consumer support for more judicious antibiotics use has also led to major changes in industry behavior.

"USDA agrees that we need more data to assess progress on antimicrobial use and resistance, and we need to continue to develop alternative therapies for the treatment, control, and prevention of disease in animals".

"Scientific evidence demonstrates that overuse of antibiotics in animals can contribute to the emergence of antibiotic resistance", says Dr Kazuaki Miyagishima, Director of the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses at WHO.

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