Bangkok welcomes 70 AMR experts at Thai – Dutch Roundtable Meeting 2023

The 70 AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) experts across Thailand participated in the “AMR Thai – Dutch Expert Meeting 2023” at the Residence of the Dutch Ambassador on Wireless Road, Bangkok on August 28th, 2023. The threat by AMR in livestock farming and aquaculture including agriculture & food systems is viewed domestically and internationally by experts from the University, Ministry, Department, Association, business firm, and international bodies such as FAO – RAP Office, USAID during the roundtable meeting.

The opening remarks by H.E. Mr. Remco van Wijngaarden, the Netherlands Ambassador, and Dr. Prapas Pinyocheep, Deputy Director-General of the Thai Department of Livestock Development (DLD), underlines the importance of multi-sectoral collaboration to decrease the antibiotics usage to assure the safety of our food and to keep the risks of antimicrobial resistance development as low as possible.  

First session: pitch presentation by guest speakers

The roundtable meeting has 2 sessions. The first session is a pitch presentation by 6 guest speakers on “The National AMU / AMR Approaches in the Netherlands and Thailand: Way Forward and Challenge”. The guest speakers at this session are Gijs Theunissen (Dutch Agricultural Counsellor); Prof. Dr. Jaap Wagenaar (Utrecht University); Dr. Julaporn Srinha (Thai DLD); Jeroen Elfers (Royal FrieslandCampina N.V.); Dr. Boonyita Rujtikumporn (Thai Feed Mill Association) and Vimonrat Premsiri (Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association). This session is moderated by Prof. Dr. Achariya Sailasuta from the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations (FAVA).

Second session: panel discussion

The second session is a panel discussion on “The Engagement of Stakeholders in the Livestock Industry for Prudent Use of Antimicrobial – Mission Possible or Impossible?” moderated by Dr. Kachen Wongsathapornchai from FAO – RAP Office. The panelists contain all the guest speakers from the first session joined by Prof. Dr. Rungtip Chuanchuen (Chulalongkorn University) and representatives from The Food and Drug Administration “FDA” Thailand. The participants of the roundtable meeting have also shared their views on AMR in connecting to their work and experiences.  

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in food safety and food security

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is undermining food safety and food security across international agriculture and food systems affecting the health of humans, and animals, and is a risk for agro-ecology. Inappropriate antimicrobial use (AMU) for the treatment of infectious diseases and especially the use for preventing infections (prophylactic use) in the livestock industry has been recognized as a main driver inducing antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. AMR is recognized as a serious risk to human and animal health by the Thai Government.

In 2016, the surveillance of human and veterinary antimicrobial usage in Thailand was established by collaboration among One Health partners (The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Livestock Development (DLD), Department of Fisheries (DOF), company, academic and international agencies (WHO, FAO, WOAH, etc.). Thailand’s first National Strategic Plan on AMR (2017 – 2021) has been developed by the multi-sectoral working group. The Strategic Plan of Thailand is based on a “One Health” approach and aligned with the Global Action Plan with an international commitment to resolving the AMR issue. The Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (GAP-AMR) was adopted in 2015 by the World Health Assembly aiming to strengthen the knowledge and evidence-based approach through surveillance and research.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global issue; poses a regional and global threat to food security. Thailand has a national strategic plan on AMR within the concept of “one health approach”. DLD cooperated with multi-stakeholders to drive a national action plan on AMR composed of international organizations, vet schools, governments, vet councils, private sectors (companies, producers), associations, and nongovernment organizations. All relevant stakeholders have put a lot of effort into the responsible use of antimicrobials in livestock such as the ban on antibiotic growth promoters used in the poultry sector effective since 2006. DLD has regulated medicated feed and promoted prudent use of antibiotics in farms. In addition, Thailand supported alternative use of herbs, pre/probiotics for improving animal health, according to Thai DLD (2023).

A lot has been done already on antibiotic usage reduction in Thailand. The Thai government has made the 2nd national strategic plan on AMR plan for the coming years with optimal and prudent use of antimicrobials.  A good AMR policy is a continuous process that has to be adapted to the actual (international) situation.

For more information

Please contact the agricultural team at the NL Embassy in Bangkok: BAN-LNV@MINBUZA.NL