UK 20-year Vision and 5-year Action Plans for Antimicrobial Resistance
To contain and control AMR by 2040, the UK Government published a UK 20-year vision for antimicrobial resistance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and a UK 5-year action plan for antimicrobial resistance 2019 to 2024 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
The UK 5-year National Action Plan (NAP) takes a “One Health” approach covering animals, the environment and human health and is delivered in close collaboration with all the devolved UK administrations. A major focus of the plan is to make sure current antibiotics stay effective by reducing the number of resistant infections and supporting veterinarians to prescribe appropriately.
Northern Ireland AMR Action Plan
In a collaborative effort between the Department of Health, DAERA and Food Standards Agency NI, a Northern Ireland 5-Year Action Plan entitled "Changing the Culture 2019 to 2024 - One Health" was produced which compliments the UK Action Plan and addresses issues specific to Northern Ireland. The NI Action Plan reflects the priority areas for action from human and animal health, agriculture and the environment perspectives, as well as reflecting the commitments in the UK NAP.
DAERA currently manages the delivery of key actions in the NI Action Plan and contributions to the UK NAP. The Department of Health are expected to resume the lead following the COVID-19 response. These actions will help implement the changes needed to bring the spread of antimicrobial resistance under control.
DAERA collaborate with a wide range of key stakeholders in the agricultural, education and research sectors to promote and support industry led initiatives, surveillance, novel research, training and dissemination of relevant information and advice to farmers and the wider rural community on AMR.
Statutory AMR monitoring
EU Monitoring Programme
Commission Implementing Decision (EU) No. 2020/1729 requires NI, under the NI Protocol, to monitor and report AMR zoonotic and commensal bacteria isolated from broilers, fattening turkeys and fattening pigs at slaughter, on a biennial basis for each species. DAERA Official Veterinarians undertake the collection of samples from approved slaughterhouses participating in the monitoring programme.
In 2022, broilers at slaughter are monitored and tested for AMR along with any salmonella isolates detected from the Nation Control Plan (NCP) sampling under EU Regulation 2073/2005.
The Food Standards Agency NI (FSA NI) is responsible for monitoring and reporting AMR zoonotic and commensal bacteria isolated from imported fresh meat at points of entry and at retail.
NI, like other EU member states, will report the results to the Commission annually and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will publish the national isolate-based AMR data and results.
UK Harmonized AMR Monitoring
The UK Harmonized AMR Monitoring programme is coordinated by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and aligns with EU monitoring. NI samples broilers, turkeys and pigs at slaughter, on a biennial basis for each species, at a rate compared to overall UK production. Results will be presented in the UK Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Sales Surveillance 2020 (VARSS Report).