“Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat that
in this inter-connected world cannot be solved in Europe alone,” Semedo said.
“We have to help save live-saving drugs,” she
Aside from the human health considerations, Semedo
underscored that the emergence of microbes resistant to antibiotics and other
pharmaceutical agents puts animal health at risk and consequently impacts rural
livelihoods and food security adversely.
While resistance develops as part of natural
adaptation, it is exacerbated by inappropriate use of pharmaceuticals, and the
prevalence of resistance in the agricultural sector is generally higher in
animal species reared under intensive production systems.
Although FAO favours prudent regulations and
measures to control the influx of medicines and reduce their use, Semedo said
that many rural smallholders and pastoralists often face difficult economic
choices and that counterfeit drugs are rampant.
“How can we eliminate hunger or improve
sustainability when we cannot cure sick animals? How can we reduce rural poverty
when the drugs given to ill farm workers and their families no longer have
effect?” she asked.