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Swiss scientist: “We need to reduce the need for antibiotics“

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“We need to reduce the need for antibiotics in order to reduce their use”, that was one of the statements Thomas Van Boeckel, author of frequently cited research on antimicrobial consumption in food animals, gave an inspiring presentation in a side event during EuroTier. The postdoctoral Fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (ETH) in Zürich, explained the global situation regarding antimicrobial use and the key findings of his work. “If we keep going as we are in animal production and antibiotic use, we are soon going to face a global antibiotic resistance crisis”, he anticipated.

During his lecture in a Seminar organized by Trouw Nutrition Selko, that offer antibiotic free products, Dr. Van Boeckel pointed out that it is needed to rely less on antibiotics as a mean to control infections. The biggest barrier to reduce antibiotics is the actual need of their use. Therefore, he explained, the efforts should be put on reducing antibiotics need to accomplish a reduction in their use. 

Talking to an audience of animal producers facing the challenge to reduce antibiotic use worldwide, Van Boeckel shed a light on possible strategies for the industry. “There is no silver bullet to solve this problem”, he said. “We need to work within a range of options that include hygiene, building better facilities, limiting contact of animals with humans of other sources of infection. And it also includes potential nutritional solutions”.

In UK there exists the Alliance to Save Our Antibioticsis - Soil Association is collaboration with. Recently an interview with Cóilín Nunan from the Alliance was broadcasted on Radio 4 Farming Today. Cóilín urges that routine, preventative treatments should be banned in order to reduce the impact of antibiotic resistant bugs in human medicine.


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