The International Dairy Federation (IDF) has released information on the global dairy industry's position on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The IDF's new factsheet - Guidance on antimicrobial resistance from the dairy sector - also gives recommendations for the prudent use of antimicrobials to dairyfarmers, veterinary services, food processing companies, pharmaceutical companies and regulators.
Antimicrobials are medicines used to treat infections, particularly those caused by bacteria, to maintain human and animal health.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microbe to survive or grow during antimicrobial treatment.
AMR can be naturally present in some microorganisms or it can be acquired via mutations, or from other microbes.
New AMR mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening the ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in prolonged illness, disability, and death of humans and animals.
The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is accelerating this process.
AMR is not constrained by geographic borders or species.
Resistant bacteria arising either in humans, animals or the environment may spread from one to the other, and from one country to another.
Limiting the development of AMR requires the implementation of global strategies by public health, veterinary and environmental authorities in all countries of the world.
IDF encourages good animal health and welfare to minimise the need for antimicrobial use.
The guidelines for prudent and responsible use for dairyfarmers include: Support a herd with optimal resistance to disease. Set up biosecurity measures to prevent introduction of diseases and resistant bacteria onto the farm. Implement an effective herd health management program. Set up cleaning and disinfection strategies to prevent spread of diseases. Implement a management program for chronically infected cows. Ensure the use of antibiotics is based on adequate diagnostics evaluation. Use all antimicrobial agents and veterinary medicines as directed. Ensure milking routines do not injure the animals or introduce contaminants into milk. Ensure animal feed and water are of suitable quantity and quality. Ensure animals are free from discomfort, pain, injury and disease. Avoid feeding milk-containing residues to calves or other animals on the farm. Avoid preventative use of antimicrobials. Support the implementation of strategies leading to the eradication of specific antimicrobial agents. Ensure that the withdrawal times set for the antimicrobials are respected before the milk from treated animal is used, supported by strategic residue testing of milk. At that level, tests can target only one or a few substances but need to be applicable for single-cow, on-field testing. The performances of these testing tools need to be comparable to those used at other levels of the supply chain.
See the full factsheet at http://www.fil-idf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Factsheet-003_2017-Guidance-on-Antimicrobial-Resistance-from-the-Dairy-Sector.pdf.