Antibiotics & Health Overview
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been termed the ‘silent pandemic’ as it makes it more difficult and even impossible to treat bacterial infections. In 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared AMR one of the top 10 global health threats facing humanity.
It is recognised not only as a global threat to public health, but also to economic prosperity, as the global economic costs associated with AMR are likely to be $100 trillion and lead to a long-term 3.8% decrease in GDP by 2050.
Reliance on the routine use of antibiotics in factory farming for growth promotion and prophylaxis has resulted in animal agriculture accounting for an estimated 70% of antibiotic consumption globally. The industry is consequently a significant contributor to AMR globally, with this expected to rise as more countries embrace intensive farming systems to meet the growing demand for meat, dairy and fish. It is projected that by 2030, antibiotic consumption in farm animals will increase by 67%.
As a result, FAIRR efforts seek to encourage responsible use of antibiotics in line with WHO guidelines through company engagement across the animal protein supply chain and multilateral stakeholder engagement on the issue to encourage policy change in key producing regions.
Animal Pharmaceuticals Engagement
This engagement tackles the lack of transparency from animal pharmaceutical companies over how they manufacture, market, and sell antibiotics – practices that could contribute to AMR hotspots in the environment and drive high levels of antibiotic use.
Restaurant Antibiotics Engagement
This engagement addresses the quick-service restaurant sector on the need to improve antibiotic stewardship practices.
FAIRR view: Responsible antibiotic use in animal agriculture
The responsible use of antibiotics in animal supply chains plays an integral role in preserving efficacy of antibiotics and preventing the spread of AMR.