Excessive use of antimicrobials in intensive livestock farming as One Health issue

Most antibiotics in livestock farming are used in aquaculture, but significant amounts are also used in terrestrial livestock species, particularly in poultry and pigs. Approximately 70% of antibiotics are used for non-therapeutic purposes, i.e. many antibiotics are used in sub-therapeutic doses and over prolonged periods, which leads to the development of genes that confer antimicrobial resistance to animal pathogens. These genes can subsequently be transferred to human pathogens and it is estimated that 75% of recently emerging diseases in humans are of animal origin. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) problems are further exacerbated by the fact that antibiotic resistance genes were found in bacteria long before antibiotics were ever used on super-pathogens in farm animals. AMR is a worldwide problem, which clearly affects both animal and human health, and hence it is truly One Health issue.
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African Swine Fever on the Move – China, the EU and FAO Assessing Preparedness in East and Southeast Asia, the Region with >50% of the World Pig Population

By M Djuric, DVM African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to spread in traditionally endemic sub-Saharan Africa, but it is also expanding into previously ASF-free countries with a new front opening up along the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.   The risk of ASF entering China is of particular concern since the country keeps almost half of the…
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Reconciling Modern Animal Production Systems and Sustainability

By M Djuric, DVM A consortium of 22 research partners from 11 countries has received a ÂŁ10.6m grant from the European Union (EU) to improve pig and poultry production. This is the largest EU grant awarded in this field. The project aims at investigating ways to increase animal production quality, whilst limiting environmental impact and…
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Global Meat Production Continues to Rise – Pork and Poultry Meat Are the Most Popular

Pork is still the most popular meat globally, followed closely by poultry meat. Global production of pork in 2011 was 109 million tons, accounting for 37% of the total meat, while poultry meat production reached 101 million tons, according to a recent report from the Worldwatch Institute These data represent a 0.8% annual decrease in pork…
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British Vets Resist “Political Measures” to Restrict Veterinary Use of Antibiotics

By Miroslav Djuric, DVM The British Veterinary Association (BVA) marked the 5th European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18 November 2012) by releasing a statement in which it reaffirms its commitment to promoting responsible use of antibiotics, but also warns that political measures to reduce antimicrobial resistance in Europe and the UK are not based on sound…
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Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Targeted for Eradication

The FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have developed a detailed strategy for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) control under the umbrella of their Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs). However, it is clear that only a massive commitment of national and international resources would make FMD eradication possible as surveillance and monitoring over a long period is required. FMD is a highly infectious disease caused by a picornavirus, which affects cloven-hoofed animals, in particular cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and deer. Other animals including camelids and elephants can also be affected. The disease is notifiable, which means that the local veterinary services must be notified immediately if FMD is suspected.Although FMD does not pose a direct threat to human health, and is rarely fatal in animals, it can cause reduced milk yield, weight loss and lower fertility. The global annual cost of FMD in…
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Where’s my ball? How practical is it to give farm animals a better environment?

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that giving animals a better environment makes them less stressed, less likely to behave abnormally, and sometimes more productive. However, most of that evidence comes from small-scale trials, and scaling improvements up to the practicalities of large farms could prove costly and burdensome.  Is it environmental enrichment…
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Man Flu Really Exists, New Study Shows

Man flu is considered by large segments of society to be the psychological condition of men with colds. It is often said that when men have a cold they think it is a flu and as a consequence they moan more than women and stay longer in bed until they feel better. Man flu is…
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H1N1 Flu Panic Hits Pigs and Producers Hard

More than a month since the first reports of influenza in humans in Mexico, the first case of the H1N1 influenza in pigs has been reported. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced on 2 May that a H1N1 influenza virus was found in a pig herd in Alberta. Since then, the CFIA has assured…
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