August 6, 2018
The membership of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has voted overwhelmingly to approve a global "Statement on Antimicrobial Stewardship" to recognize "the urgency with which action against the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) needs to be taken," according to an announcement.
GRSB president Nicole Johnson-Hoffman with OSI Group LLC, said, “Antimicrobial resistance is a major global threat to human and animal health. This statement reflects what GRSB members believe should be done by the beef value chain to manage antimicrobials responsibly. This guidance is especially important for places in the world that lack structures to support responsible antibiotic use. Just 89 countries report having a system in place to collect data on the use of antimicrobial agents in animals (OIE, 2015) and roughly 40% of countries report they have yet to develop national action plans; it is clear to our membership that action needs to be taken.”
The GRSB antimicrobial statement aligns with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidance and equivalents adopted in other countries for antimicrobial use in cattle, GRSB said. It provides suggestions to aid cattle producers and the veterinary profession in maintaining herd health and welfare, as well as economic viability.
GRSB said it worked collaboratively with members and specialists over a period of months to produce the statement, and after two rounds of membership consultation, the members voted to approve its release.
“Developing this statement was not a quick nor easy process. It took some time to reach consensus on the manner in which we should address the issue of antimicrobial resistance. The work of coming to consensus can be challenging when dealing with the entire beef value chain, but it’s critically important, as we are all stakeholders,” said GRSB vice president Leon Mol with Ahold Delhaize.
Ruaraidh Petre, GRSB executive director, added, “The membership of GRSB believes in taking straightforward actions that are within their power. This statement provides a clear path forward for cattle keepers everywhere and particularly in the many countries that still lack frameworks to ensure responsible antibiotic use; these approaches help to avoid situations in which people or animals end up without treatment because infections have become resistant to the drugs currently available.”
Since forming in 2014, GRSB has placed emphasis on responsible use of antimicrobials, including references of responsible antimicrobial use in the "Principles & Criteria for Defining Global Sustainable Beef."
GRSB is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative developed to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science and multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration.
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