Ireland needs to take antimicrobial resistance seriously - Creed
Tackling antimicrobial resistance is in our own interest and needs to be taken seriously, according to Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.
Speaking at the launch of iNAP ( Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance) 2017-2020 in Dublin, Minister Creed said that since Ireland exports the majority of its food products and that international markets are becoming more in tune to AMR issues, it's important that we show foreign markets that we are taking the issue seriously.
“Animal health, human health and eco-system heath are all interconnected. From the agri-food side given the fact that we export nearly 90pc of what we produce it’s in the agri-food industry’s economic self-interest because consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the sustainability of the food they are consuming, how it produced and the appropriate use of anti-biotics. It’s in our own interest," he said.
He added that AMR is everyone's problem and that it's important that both the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health tackle it together.
“Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is everyone’s problem and one that cannot be solved unless we all work together to find solutions. The fact is that animals and humans share the same environment and are exposed to the same families of bacteria and are treated with essentially the same roots of antibiotics.
“It is clear that resistance does develop in bacteria found in animals and farm environments. There is evidence that this resistance is increasing and that it can be transmitted directly to humans in the shared environment and through food products,” he said.
Commenting at the launch Cormac Healy, Senior Director with Meat Industry Ireland, said that while antimicrobial usage in Irish agriculture is low compared to other countries, it’s important that we are facing the issue head on.
“All parties have a responsibility to reduce the usage of antimicrobials in human and animal health. While antimicrobial usage in Irish agriculture is low in an international context, the sector is committed to further reducing usage through best practice animal husbandry and management,”he added
Health Minister Simon Harris who was also present at the launch said:“According to the World Health Organisation, AMR is the greatest potential threat to human and animal health. We are likely to be approaching a tipping point if antibiotic resistance continues unchecked.
"Given that AMR is recognised as a global health issue, it is clear that sectors on their own cannot properly address this concern and a co-ordinated response is required. Both Minister Creed and I are very pleased that Ireland now has a comprehensive national action plan to tackle this growing global challenge.”
iNAP was developed following the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. The plan contains a range of strategic interventions and activities across the human health, animal health and environmental sectors.
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