The Government must make a “clear commitment” that any future trade deals should “at least” meet the same antibiotic usage standards to those that apply to meat and dairy products produced in the UK, the Health and Social Care Committee report said.
Antibiotic use in farming was an important contributor to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the report said. It added that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs must ensure that reducing the use of antibiotics in animals was “embedded, and in some areas extended, including keeping targets under close review”.
‘Serious concerns remain’
The report, published at the end of October, said “serious concerns remain” over the prophylactic or metaphylactic (disease prevention) use of antibiotics in animals, and the use of antibiotics of last resort that may lose their effectiveness for humans more quickly.
Any Government strategy should include establishing safe discharge levels for human waste, agricultural waste and pharmaceutical manufacturing waste, and introducing systems to monitor and enforce them, the report concluded.