The work of the U.K. Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination (DARC) Group has been published on the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) web site.
Animal Health and Welfare Minister, Ben Bradshaw, welcomed publication of the DARC Group's web pages as reaffirming both the importance Government place on the issue of antimicrobial resistance in the veterinary field and Defra's policy of openness, transparency and customer focus.
Mr Bradshaw said:"Publication of the DARC Group's web pages reaffirms the importance we place on minimizing the development of antimicrobial resistance in animals and
maintaining the effectiveness of these essential medicines. The web pages illustrate how Government is tackling the serious problem of antimicrobial resistance and is continuing to horizon scan for new and emerging issue that can be addressed at an early time".
"The web pages also contribute to Defra's Accessibility Commitment and to Lord Filkins requirement for public bodies to work actively during 2004 to identify unpublished information holdings in which there is a strong public interest and make these available."
The Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination Group was established in 1999 to co-ordinate and direct Defra activities on antimicrobial usage in animals and microbial antibiotic resistance in feedingstuffs, animals and food.
In line with the Group's remit to promote prudent and optimal use of antimicrobials in animals and raise public awareness of the issues surrounding antimicrobial resistance, it was considered that a series of web pages about the work of the DARC Group should be developed. The web pages are also in line with the open Government initiative and changes to the Freedom of Information Act that come into play in 2005.
The main areas covered by the DARC Group web pages are:
* Background to the DARC Group;
* Terms of Reference and Remit;
* Recent relevant publications by the Group;
* Links to relevant web sites;
* Contact for further information; and
* Summaries of previous meetings.
The DARC Group web site can be viewed via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate website at www.vmd.gov.uk