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DHSC joins global fight to tackle antimicrobial resistance in animals

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The UK Government’s Global AMR Innovation Fund, managed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) are partnering on a new initiative, aimed at reducing the emerging risk to global health and food security posed by antimicrobial resistance in animals.

Innovative Veterinary Solutions for Antimicrobial Resistance—InnoVet-AMR—will fund research to develop new animal vaccines and other alternative innovations to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock and aquaculture production in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

InnoVet-AMR responds to a need identified by the international scientific and development communities, and supported with high-level policy processes—including the UN political declaration on AMR (2016), G7/20, Global Health Security Agenda and Action Plan, as well as Global Action Plans of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The initiative builds on DHSC’s expertise championing innovation by supporting research and technology to improve lives, and draws on IDRC’s history as a development research funder with decades of experience building knowledge-focused, cross-sector partnerships.

Through InnoVet-AMR, IDRC and DHSC aim to achieve two main objectives:

o   Support research that will identify innovative veterinary solutions, including vaccines and alternative solutions, to reduce the use of antimicrobials in livestock and aquaculture operations in LMICs;

o   Build effective partnerships to better coordinate discovery, development and sustainable delivery of affordable innovative veterinary solutions to reduce the use of antimicrobials in livestock and aquaculture operations in LMICs.

IDRC President Dr Jean Lebel said: “Antimicrobial resistance ultimately endangers health, food security, economic development and international trade, and poses a threat to human health. Beyond its deep impacts on livestock keepers and fish farmers in low- and middle-income countries, increasing AMR threatens to undermine the fight against infectious disease.

“The stakes are high and the window of opportunity is now. Through InnoVet-AMR, we look forward to working with our UK partners to lead a research-driven response to this critical global issue.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “AMR does not respect borders between nations, humans, animals, food, or the environment. No one nation can tackle this alone, nor can any single sector. We have to make sure global action is sustained and coordinated in the most effective way.

“We all have to learn from each other, share our expertise to prevent us moving into a post-antibiotic era. This is why I am pleased to be working with Canada, particularly in their G7 presidency year. InnoVet-AMR will support research and development into alternative solutions and innovations to fight AMR in livestock and aquaculture everywhere in the world.

“I welcome this new and much needed, funding initiative as part of our Global AMR Innovation Fund.”

The InnoVet-AMR partnership was launched at a special event held in collaboration with Wilton Park, an international forum for strategic discussion.

A key element of the InnoVet-AMR partnership will be the associated research funding opportunity, which will be launched over the coming months. More information will be released closer to the funding call announcement.

Learn more about InnoVet-AMR here.

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