Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has already crossed borders and has an international dimension.
It is a big issue concerning human and animal health, the environment and food safety. Thus, it involves livestock husbandry without exceptions.
To tackle AMR the team must be global for a coordinated and effective action. Unfortunately, inequalities among countries are substantial, making acting globally difficult.
Protecting the efficacy of antimicrobials and other products needed to treat infections in humans involves the implementation of good practices intended for prevention and control. This should happen in livestock husbandry all over the world.
Where the farmer’s income, the access to services, infrastructures, knowledge and innovation, the availability of skilled workers and professionals, tailored policies and the fabric of society allow certain opportunities, disease management and prudent use of antibiotics are facilitated.
People living in poverty are generally more susceptible to infections and at higher risk of disease caused by resistant bacteria. As a matter of fact, these people do not have economic means for more expensive medications. Thus, self-medication with antibiotics is quite common in regions with under developed infrastructures.
Same issue occurs in livestock husbandry: deliberately treating animals by using antibiotics imprudently exacerbates these risks.
There is a growing world population estimated to reach 9.7 billion people in 20501. Along with it, there will be an increasing demand for safe and abundant food. AMR is a threat for food safety and human health, since foods of animal origin are vehicles for bacteria to spread among species.
We cannot afford to put food safety, food security, human and animal health, and the environment at risk.
What could the livestock sector in developed countries do for developing regions? Crossing borders, both physically and mentally, will benefit developed countries in the first place.
Livestock husbandry is a sector that needs a reduction of inequalities, aiming at putting countries in equitable economic, cultural, social and structural conditions.
It is a matter of boosting the livestock sector globally. Specifically, it calls for: supporting policies and investments specific to livestock husbandry; improving infrastructures; implementing inclusive rural development policies; facilitating access to services; framing proper social protection programmes; disseminating knowledge about strategies that have been already tailored and implemented against AMR in developed countries.
OZOLEA’s SSafeMILK project intends to be part of this combination of actions by making the OZOLEA approach to AMR available to all developing countries.
“Resistant bacteria do not need a passport to cross borders” (Rome, 2019, OZOLEA institutional meetings at the Pakistan Embassy), and nor should we to protect human and animal health.
1What do dairy farmers do for the place they live and work in, while the population is growing? OZOLEA discussed this topic some weeks ago.