I appreciate there are serious concerns that farm antibiotic use contributes significantly to the problem of human resistance to antibiotics and could undermine efforts to prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
As you know, during the last Parliament, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee called for the UK government to take precautionary action to ensure that antibiotics are only being used on sick animals. Last year, the Coalition Government launched a review on antibiotic resistance. I welcome this review and await the panel’s final recommendations which are expected by spring 2016.
The current government states that it does not support the routine preventive use of antibiotics or the use of antibiotics to compensate for poor animal husbandry and believes that the responsible use of antibiotics in all sectors, including livestock production, is needed to help tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance.
The Science and Technology Committee has noted that evidence on the exact extent to which antimicrobial resistance can be transmitted from animal pathogens to human pathogens is unclear, yet the government does not hold and collate the necessary information. I strongly believe the government should collect, collate and share this data and will press them to do so.
I believe the UK government needs to take action to cut our misuse and overuse of antibiotics in humans and in animals and must work with other government s to form a global response against antibiotic resistance.
Thank you once again for contacting me. I will continue to follow this issue closely and bear in mind the points that you have raised.