Information on AMR Slice of Life Audit

Published on 24 March 2023

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released the following information about the upcoming audit of antibiotic supply and use in the animal and plant health sectors.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top 10 global health threats. The importance of prudent antibiotic use cannot be understated.

The recent release of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor’s report ‘Kotahitanga Uniting Aotearoa against infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance’ has highlighted the need for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to gain a better understanding of AMR and identify the areas in which the management of AMR risks can be improved.

The MPI Systems Audit Team (SAT) and the Antimicrobial Resistance Team are planning an audit of the supply and use of antibiotics in the animal and plant health sectors. This is a national audit where a selection of relevant primary industry parties will be visited, including but not limited to:

  • registered veterinary medicine sellers
  • dairy companies
  • farms
  • veterinarians – production animal and companion animal
  • fruit growers and contractors,
  • agricultural chemical distributors
  • animal health laboratories.

The audit will look at how antibiotics are used, including application/administration, storage, transport and disposal of trade name products. It will also look at trends in quantities of antibiotics used over time. MPI will explore the work being undertaken in the area of disease prevention and control, such as vaccination programmes and use of biologicals in the plant sector.

The audit will enable MPI to understand how current activities in the sectors may affect AMR development. The aim is to identify best practices in AMR mitigation and determine key areas that need to be addressed.

MPI Systems Audits have a significant role in helping New Zealand to maintain trade partnerships. AMR is currently a high priority with many of our trading partners, so it is important that MPI continue to review antibiotic stewardship throughout the agricultural & horticultural sectors in New Zealand.

The initial AMR audit is planned for 27 March until 30 June.

The findings from the initial audit will help us set the scope for ongoing audits in the future.