Gavin Watkins (GW)
Christianne Glossop (CG)
Geraint Hamer (GH)
Ifan Lloyd (IL)
Wyn Evans (WE)
Chris Teale (CT)
Gwen Rees (GR)
Ann Davies (AD)
David Jackson (DJ)
Don Thomas (DT)
Dewi Hughes (DH)
Kristen Reyher (KR)
James Delaney (JD)
Ian Jones (IJ)
Fraser Broadfoot (FB)
Iestyn Jones (IeJ)
Sian Timms (ST)
Marc Alford-Evans (MAE)
Eirwen Williams (EW)
Eleri Davies (ED)
Amelia Stevens (AS)
Rob Smith (RS)
Kitty Healey (KH)
Gareth Thomas (GT)
Robin Howe (RH)
Eifiona Williams (EW)
Catherine Cody (CC)
Agenda Item 1: Welcome and Introductions (GW)
1. GW welcomed the attendees to the first eighth quarterly Wales Animal and Environment AMR Delivery Group (DG) meeting of 2021.
2. GW gave brief introductions of the DG members present to Arwain Defnydd Gwrthfioteg Cyfrifol (DGC).
Agenda Item 2: Minutes and actions from the last meeting (ST)
3. ST confirmed that the minutes from the previous DG meeting had been circulated via email for comments. If no comments were returned by the 29th June the minutes would be classed as final and published.
4. ST told the DG that there were two outstanding actions: greater engagement with YFC, which GT will be asked to provide a written update and greater production output in poultry. FB gave a response and update from an AMR perspective. The original query related to increased egg size, raised by IJ. Larger eggs have the potential to place more strain on the birds, however, there is consumer demand. The British Egg Industry Council have been in contact with FB and they agree that there are ways of manipulating egg size – diets etc. They have a good set of data showing how much antibiotics are consumed. The data shows that antibiotic use in the laying hen sector isn’t very high. Is this a welfare or an AMR concern?
5. CG claimed to not be aware of the egg size issue and understands the concerns. GW mentioned that he feels there is an absence of evidence and suggested the DG should keep it on their radar.
6. IJ told the DG that he will try to record data and accumulate evidence. (ACTION036)
Agenda Item 3: Round Table updates (Group)
7. IJ updated the delivery group on the practice sector. He has seen decrease in the amount of antibiotics by approx. 20-30%. Also seeing some very positive action in the gamebird sector.
8. IL thanked GW for the invitation to remain as a member of the DG. He went on to explain that, in lockdown, farmers have not been able to collect medicines in the traditional way, which has resulted in vets now having more direct contact with them when prescribing medicine. IL mentioned that he has noticed better antibiotic use, particularly in lambs – improved hygiene and nutrition etc. Finally, a new UK AMR group called the Cattle Antibiotic Guardian Group which links with the RUMA Target Task Force will replace the former stewardship group. IL, FB, WLBP and Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) are members.
9. GW asked IL and IJ if the group should be able to quantify the reduction in their statements, he emphasised the need to evidence claims. IJ said that they’ll be able to produce figures when they present their health review later in the year. (ACTION037).
10. AD said that there is general support for the work of the DG from Farmers Union of Wales (FUW). On her own farm, she does not use any of the critically important antibiotics on her farm. Conversations are taking place and farmers are being educated.
11. GH received the last CGU review on Wales. It’ll be ready by late May/June as it is currently being reviewed internally. The findings are being presented at the next quarterly meeting.
12. DJ has included animal and environment work as part of the Welsh Governments (WG) One Health approach to reporting to the UK NAP Steering Board.
13. ST explained to the DG that WG has continued to engage with the AVC team. WG colleagues joined the Euro active event, “Reducing the use of antibiotics in the meat sector,” and shared the invite to the DG. The event was captured and circulated on YouTube (ACTION038). Work continues on developing a survey of companion animals and equine veterinary practices across Wales with AS and IL. To support this we’ve had agreement to recruit a PhD student to support delivery.
14. CT updated the DG on the changes since the beginning of the year. They had an abattoir surveillance programme to see what might pass through the food chain. The EU had a programme since 2006 to look at this and the UK did well with generally better results than most countries, in particular southern Europe. Post Brexit, it has been decided to continue this programme, in particular for pigs and calves. Beef and sheep aren’t included but he is aware that WG are interested in including them at some point. The idea now is to know what is going into the food system for consumers (disease wise). The one thing the EU has started looking at is imported meat from third countries, which the UK is not currently doing.
15. GR mentioned the Arwain Vet Cymru (AVC) training finishes this summer and they will conduct qualitative research by interviewing practitioners. Number of reports now being produced. Farm Vet Champions being launched next Tuesday and vets in Wales should engage, but is separate from AVC.
16. GW explained to the DG that WG have been doing a lot of work with the other Administrations on AMR controls in trade negotiations, which is currently operating under WTO rules, led by UK Gov, but WG are feeding in.
17. CG clarified that international trade is reserved but international trade deals impact devolved matters like animal welfare. WG intends to escalate this so that all veterinary officers are on the same page for animal welfare standards. CG explained that Wales can’t be in a position where it is importing products that compromise our own standards. DJ wanted to point out that AMR negotiations were raised and the WG prepared a paper that has been forwarded to the UK NAP Steering Board.
Agenda Item 4: Veterinary Medicines Regulations – progress update (FB)
18. FB gave an update on progress. They are going to be updating the Veterinary Medicines Regulations due to the new EU Regulations coming into force in Feb 2022. The UK consultation will take place at the end of this year.
Agenda Item 5: Arwain DGC Overview
19. DH, GR, IL and KR presented a background of the Arwain DGC’s mission statement for the project and their bid for the project.
20. GW mentioned that Public Health Wales (PHW) offered the use of their prescribing templates and suggested that we take them up on their offer to align with the medics. FB mentioned the issue that vets who prescribe antibiotics don’t measure on species and a voluntary code of conduct could help.GW said he was excited about activity five due to the level of statistical information it should produce. He said that the environment component is largely new and asked if the project requires sampling like downstream from farms using antibiotics? Emma Hayhurst previously presented work on the river Wye and sewerage treatment plants. GW suggested that EH might be a useful contact.
21. IJ told the DG that once the green light is given, communication will be key because there is so much work being done in terms of AMR across the UK. ST suggest bringing this up in the quarterly WG AMR One Health meeting (Action039).
Agenda Item 6: Any Other Business (Group)
22. It was agreed that the AOB below would be sent to DG members via email after the meeting –
23. Date of the next meeting: 29th June 2021 – We will circulate papers and joining instructions closer to the time. (All 2021 meetings dates have been confirmed and invites issued).
24. Review of activities undertaken in 2020/21: We will be seeking contributions and sharing a draft document in due course. Please feel free to forward any contributions or comments, at this stage.
25. DG survey results: We will circulate slides to summarise the remote working survey that was shared late last year.