HC Deb 25 June 1997 vol 296 c543W
Mr. Martyn Jones

to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will establish a comprehensive review of the issues relating to the use of antibiotics in livestock production. [4879]

Mr. Rooker

The use of antibiotics in livestock production is kept under review. The independent scientific Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) advises the government on the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines and medicinal feed additives, including the possible development of antibiotic resistance in humans. The Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food has set up a Working Group to examine the issues of antibiotic resistance, including the possible effects of the use of veterinary products. The Working Group is due to report its findings by the end of 1997.

A European Commission expert Working Group is preparing a monitoring programme, and the Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products, the European body responsible for scientific advice on veterinary medicinal products, has set up an ad hoc group to investigate the current status of antimicrobial resistance in animals and the potential for its transfer to man.