Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Sales Surveillance 2020
Following on from last year, this year’s report shows that the reductions in antibiotic use
achieved in previous years have been held, with many sectors holding level or seeing
modest reductions. This in itself is an achievement given the gains already made, and
while a continuing national downward trend for antibiotic consumption is still necessary, it
is likely to be more gradual than in recent years.
The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance Targets Task Force
(TTF) report released a year ago shows that the UK agriculture sectors remain focused on
the road ahead. As they outline in their report, different sectors’ new ambitions fall broadly
into three categories: 1) maintaining sizeable reductions already secured; 2) forging ahead
with further significant reductions; and 3), for those who have further to go in their
antimicrobial usage journey, understanding usage in their sectors.
It is clear over the course of the VARSS reports since the first one published in 2014
(presenting data from 2013), that data on antibiotic sales and use are powerful tools for
understanding patterns of antibiotic prescribing and on-farm use at every level – from
providing prescribing pattern insight to the farmer and their vet, to describing sectoral and
national trends – and galvanising action.
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