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Antibiotic Resistance Steering Group reconvenes

18 June 2004

NZFSA Antibiotic Resistance Steering Group reconvenes

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority has announced plans to reconvene the Antibiotic Resistance Steering Group.

The group was first convened in 1999 after concerns were expressed about the possible transference of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from animals to humans.

At that time the Steering Group established an Expert Panel to examine the potential risks and inform it on strategies for the surveillance and management of antibiotic resistance in relation to in-feed use in animals. The Steering Group released its report to the Animal Remedies Board in September 1999.

Director of the ACVM Group, Debbie Morris, said today: “There has been significant progress made in New Zealand so far in reviewing the control-of-use conditions for all antibiotics in accordance with the recommendations made in the original report.

“We are ahead of most other countries in the world in this aspect. It’s time now to get feedback from stakeholders and, in particular, the production animal industries, on the impacts to date and changes that they have made. Internationally there has been a great deal of work done in the past five years on surveillance and monitoring. It’s time to bring together all of these activities and consider the priorities for future action in New Zealand.”

It is the intention of the NZFSA that the reconvened Steering Group will provide a forum for stakeholder discussions and help draft a way forward for NZFSA management of antibiotic resistance issues.

The first meeting of the newly convened Steering Group will take place in early July. Members will include a consumer representative and representatives from Government and industry.

ENDS

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