The RUMA Alliance hit back at the request saying animal health and welfare should not be jeopardised by ’poor research and avoiding repsonsibility’.
Fifteen of the country’s top doctors have called on UK Government to use its ‘unique position’ in post-Brexit negotiations to restrict the routine ‘misuse’ of antibiotics in UK farming.
The medical professionals wrote to Secretary of States Andrea Leadsom and Jeremy Hunt to coincide with World Antibiotic Awareness Week, with a letter suggesting farm practices were ‘undermining’ the efficiency of our antibiotics.
The letter stated: “We urge the Government to immediately introduce a UK-wide ban on the routine preventative mass medication of animals, and to urgently curb farm use of the ‘critically important’ antibiotics.”
It is the latest in a long line of attacks on antibiotic ’misuse’ in farming.
Lobbying and communications specialist at Alliance to Save our Antibiotics Emma Rose said: “Welcome steps have been taken by some farming sectors to limit veterinary prescribing.
“But the continued use of antibiotics to routinely mass medicate of livestock risks undermining this progress.”
The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance hit back at the ‘exceptionally disappointing’ message and called for medical professionals to stop the ‘blame game’ on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
A spokesman for RUMA slammed what it described as ‘orchestrated rhetoric, supported by scant facts’ adding animal health and welfare should not be ‘jeopardised’ by ‘poor research and avoiding responsibility’.
He said: “On method of treatment, we need to be clear.
“Taking away the option, without good reason, to treat preventatively or to administer treatment in the most effective manner or to restrict certain products already being used responsibly and at very low levels, risks creating more severe disease problems and poor welfare.
“We need to migrate to methods of managing disease which involve lower use of antibiotics but when disease threatens, preventative treatment, sometimes of groups of animals, can be the most effective and least stressful course of action for the animals involved.”
But a $1.3 billion investor group briefing issued this week highlighted investment risks of ‘systematic overuse of antibiotics in livestock farming’, following a European Parliament vote for a ban on all routine antibiotic use in farming earlier this year.
“Food businesses and retailers can play a huge role in driving progress on antibiotic use within their supply chains," Ms Rose added.
“Investors, in turn, must play their part and send a clear signal to these companies – that failure to act on farm antibiotics is no longer an option.”