Governments around the globe must work together to find a solution to the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, according to the Chief Medical Officer for England.
Professor Dame Sally Davies has once again reiterated calls for new antibiotics to be developed and made available by drug companies.
She said the medical industry had been steadily losing antibiotics over time, with nothing new coming on the market to replace them.
As Farmers Guardian previously reported, medical chiefs are concerned patients could be killed by some diseases which would have traditionally been treated with antibiotics.
The Prime Minister has set up an independent review to see how new drugs can be developed and at what cost.
Welcoming the move, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) called for the review to extend to animal health.
BVA past president Peter Jones said: “Antibiotics are vital medicines for both human and animal health and we are working hard to safeguard their use for the future, but it is clear that we must also find ways to develop new antibiotics in veterinary medicine.
“The development pipeline for new antibiotics in both human and animal health is at an all-time low and so we welcome measures to investigate how to manage this trend.”
Speaking at the Association’s annual Welsh dinner in Cardiff this week, BVA president Robin Hargreaves reiterated the importance of using antimicrobials responsibly.
He added: “One of the greatest challenges to both animal and human health is the threat of antibiotic resistance, which has the potential to become a global catastrophe.
“To ensure healthy animals in the future we must ensure we safeguard veterinary medicines. And so across the country we continue to take a lead in raising awareness about the need to use these vital medicines responsibly.
“But we mustn’t simply pay lip service to the problem. BVA asks all veterinary surgeons to look at themselves to make sure that they are each playing their part and doing the right things.”
In February Prof Davies was criticised by veterinary and farming leaders for suggesting that animals should, in some cases, be slaughtered rather than treated to prevent misuse of antibiotics.
The agricultural sector has for some time been blamed for its part in antibiotic resistance in both humans and animals.