The use of colistin, a critically important antibiotic in human healthcare, will be voluntarily discontinued in the animal health sector in Ireland.
The iNAP animal health implementation committee (AHIC), made up of a broad range of stakeholders, has endorsed a statement of intent to cease the use of colistin.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue welcomed the committee’s announcement as delivering key actions in Ireland’s national plan to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
He said: “This voluntary agreement by stakeholders is testimony to the commitment of the agri-sector in addressing AMR, and it acknowledges the importance of colistin in treating life-threatening bacterial infections that cause significant mortality and morbidity in human healthcare.”
The World Health Organisation has included colistin in a list of highest-priority critically important antimicrobials, which are drugs of last resort in human health.
Minister McConalogue gave special thanks to the collaboration and leadership shown by Veterinary Ireland and the IFA.
“By veterinary practitioners and farmers working together to improve animal health and ceasing to use colistin, this proactive approach will protect the effectiveness of this antimicrobial of last resort in human health,” the minister said.