Research by the British Soil Association into MRSA problems in e.g. the
Netherlands, has triggered concerns about the status of the UK
The study reveals that the potentially dangerous Methicillin-resistant
Staphyloserious aureus (MRSA) bacteria could already present in British pig
MRSA is already a high-profile, persistent problem in many UK
hospitals. Now a new strain of MRSA has developed amongst intensively farmed
pigs, chickens and other livestock on the continent.
Farm-animal MRSA has already transferred to farmers, farm-workers
and their families in the Netherlands, causing serious health impacts. 40% of
Dutch pigs and 50% of pig farmers have been found to carry farm-animal MRSA.
In the Netherlands, farm-animal MRSA has been found in 20% of pork,
21% of chicken and 3% of beef on sale to the public.
Netherlands, Belgium and Canada, initiatives have been started for further
research into the matter.
Not found in the UK
has not yet been discovered in either UK livestock or meat products, but neither
the government nor the Food Standards Agency are carrying out any surveys of the
most likely carriers, live pigs, chickens and imported meat.
scientists and government officials blame this new strain of MRSA in farm
animals on the high levels of antibiotics used in intensive livestock farming.
Richard Young, Soil Association policy adviser said, "This
new type of MRSA is spreading like wildfire across Europe, and we know it is
transferring from farm animals to humans - with serious health impacts.
Concerned scientists have referred to this as 'a new
"Fortunately, it has not yet been found in UK livestock or imported
meat, but then neither the government nor the Food Standards Agency are looking
for it in live animals or meat."
Related news items:
â€¢ Belgium will start own MRSA research (23 March 2007)
research needed into MRSA bacteria (14 March 2007)
Belgium: MRSA research in pigs (12 January 2007)
â€¢ New research into MRSA bacteria (3 October 2006)
â€¢ British Soil
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