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Agriculture: Antibiotics

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th February 2017.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to discourage farming methods which lead to the overuse of antibiotics.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate is working closely with the veterinary profession and livestock sectors to embed responsible use of antibiotics both in stewardship plans and within farm assurance scheme standards and also to set sector-specific targets for reducing antibiotic use by the end of 2017.

Following recommendations made by the Independent Review on AMR, Defra committed to a reduction of 20% in overall antibiotic use in farming by 2018. The most recent data from 2015 show that overall sales of antibiotics for use in livestock dropped by 10%. The government is also considering how future agricultural policy might incentivise high animal health and welfare systems of production.

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