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Veterinary Medicine: Antibiotics

Question for Department of Health

UIN 18674, tabled on 3 December 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with health experts on the human health implications of the veterinary use of colistin for colistin resistance in slaughtered animals, food and humans; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

11 December 2015

The Department of Health is working closely with Public Health England (PHE), the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Veterinary Medicines Directorate to ensure that the risk assessment to public health from colistin-resistant bacteria from slaughtered animals, food and humans considers all available evidence. While PHE and the FSA judge that the public health risk of colistin-resistant bacteria from slaughtered animals and the food chain is very low, the use of colistin for animals will be reviewed following recent reports of transferable colistin resistance in China and Europe.

I regularly discuss the issue of antimicrobial resistance with the Chief Medical Officer.