The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that we are fast approaching a “post-antibiotic era”. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. AMR is probably the major threat to global public health and requires action across all government sectors and society.
The overuse of antibiotics to feed farm animals from intensive livestock production is more controversial than their overuse in human medicine. Although practices vary from country to country, approximately 50% of antibiotics used in the UK and 80% of antibiotics in the US are given to farm animals. In certain parts of the world, medically important antibiotics are not just used to fight disease, but are also used as growth promoters.
A new investor report, launched in March 2017, reveals new research underscoring the link between the use of antibiotics in livestock and the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans.
In 2016, a collaborative statement on the topic of antibiotic use in livestock and its contribution to antimicrobial resistance was developed between four US- and UK- based organisations, namely the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, As You Sow, FAIRR and ShareAction. Since its launch in March 2016, the investor group backing this engagement has grown to 71 institutions representing more than $2 trillion in assets under management.
By joining the initiative and signing the Global Investor Statement on Antimicrobial resistance, Candriam shows its on-going willingness to strive for higher standards and supports the phasing-out of the routine use of antibiotics in food supply chains.