Alexandra de Athayde, IFIF Executive Director, highlighted the important contribution of animal nutrition to help contain and minimise Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at the First Session of the COAG Sub-Committee on Livestock held virtually on 16-18 March 2022.
IFIF is an Observer Member of the the Committee on Agriculture (COAG), which established the Sub-Committee on Livestock (SCL) with a mandate to discuss and build consensus on livestock issues and priorities, and advise COAG, and through it, the FAO Council and the FAO Conference, on technical and policy programmes and activities needed to optimize the contribution of livestock, including in poverty alleviation, food security and nutrition, sustainable livelihoods and the realization of the 2030 Agenda.
One item for discussion at the SCL was a paper by FAO on ‘Alternative feed practices to promote responsible use of antimicrobials’, which highlights advanced nutrition and feeding practices can help reduce reliance on AGPs.
IFIF has been committed to support addressing AMR since 2016, when UN Member States adopted the “Political declaration of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance” and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) identified AMR as a major threat to human and animal health.
In her remarks, Ms. de Athayde explained how “adequate animal nutrition is an important part of the solution to help contain and minimise AMR and the feed sector plays a critical role in supporting animals’ optimal health with high resilience capabilities to stressors through safe and high-quality feed and access to nutritional innovation.”
Ms. de Athayde also underlined the strong and ongoing collaboration with the FAO to address some of these issues, for instance through better dialogue with competent authorities, awareness raising and knowledge sharing, as well as IFIF’s commitment to promoting feed safety around the world.
Finally, IFIF welcomed that the FAO report recognizes that feed legislation in many countries does not adequately recognize the impact of nutrition on gastro-intestinal health and overall animal health and welfare. We would like to highlight there is a need for regulatory recognition of the role of adequate nutrition for maintaining animal good health and welfare and increasing their resilience, in particular with their (efficacy) assessment, claims, and conditions for use.
Sessions of the SCL will be held every two years prior to the COAG sessions with timing that enables the Committee to take into consideration the report of the Sub-Committee. For more information about the COAG Sub-Committee on Livestock please visit: https://www.fao.org/coag/sub-committee-on-livestock/about/en/.