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Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination (DARC) Group


The issue of antimicrobial resistance has received increasing attention recently from the scientific and political communities. Resistance to antimicrobial products is known to occur in both human and veterinary medicines. To address this the Government has established several working groups to look at different aspects of this issue.

The Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination (DARC) Group was established in 1999 to take forward, within Defra, recommendations made by the House of Lords Select Committee on antimicrobial resistance. The DARC Group works alongside other Government Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) related groups (see below). Their remits are in some cases complementary, and in others have some overlap but close liaison avoids duplication of effort.

For further information about the group, please contact: darc@vmd.defra.gsi.gov.uk.

DARC Group Terms of Reference and Remit:

To co-ordinate, advise and review Defra activities on antimicrobial usage in animals and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in micro-organisms from feedingstuffs, animals and food.

The Group's remit includes:

  • Reviewing the Defra action plan and strategy on surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in animals - this was carried out during 2007 and a revision to the Strategy was published in August 2008. Subsequently the strategy will be updated periodically as the need arises.
  • Reviewing surveillance studies on antimicrobial usage and microbial resistance - as of the Autumn 2006 meeting, this will be carried out annually.
  • Promoting prudent and optimal use of antimicrobials in animals by:
    • Supporting healthy food from healthy animals
    • Encouraging responsible and prudent use of minimum amounts of appropriate antimicrobials
    • Monitoring the development of AMR in animals
    • Providing information and advice to assist in the development of antimicrobial resistance policy in animals
    • Identifying the possible impact on human treatments as applications for new antimicrobial products for animal use are being assessed
    • Report the group's activities to ARHAI.
  • Consider new approaches to alternatives to antimicrobials as they arise - public awareness will continue to be promoted on the VMD web pages.
  • Research and development - the Group will advise Defra on research ideas as they arise. Government funded research into antimicrobial resistance will be reviewed annually at the Spring meeting.
  • Raising public awareness of the issue - information is published on the VMD websites.


Name Representing
Mr Paul Green Veterinary Medicines Directorate - Chairman
Ms Hannah Reeves Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Ms Katherine Grace Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Prof Peter Borriello Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Mr Giles Davis Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Ms Suzanne Eckford Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Mr Steve Eldridge Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Mrs Katherine Gray Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Ms Lesley Johnson Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Ms Helen Jukes Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Mr Callum Harris Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Ms Helen Hartley Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute
Dr Adam Staines Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Ms Sadhana Sharma Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Mr Peter Jones British Veterinary Association
Dr David Verner-Jeffreys Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
Mr Paul Ashby Health and Safety Executive
Ms Sally Wellsteed Department of Health
Mr Andrew Frost Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Mr Stephen Wyllie Department for Enviroment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dr Nigel Cook Food and Environment Research Agency
Dr Paul Cook Food Standards Agency
Ms Kara Thomas Food Standards Agency
Dr Angela Kearns Public Health England
Dr David Livermore Public Health England
Prof John Threlfall Public Health England
Prof Neil Woodford Public Health England
Dr Dominic Mellor Health Protection Scotland
Mr Arjen Brouwer Welsh Government
Dr Geoff Foster Scottish Agricultural College
Mr Jesus Gallego Scottish Government
Dr Robin Howe University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
Prof Peter Hawkey University of Birmingham and Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham
Mr Jeff Jones Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Mr Chris Teale Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Mr John Tayleur Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency

Summary of Previous Meetings:


  • 11 December - Summary report to be added when available
  • 24 September - Summary report to be added when available
  • 7 May
  • 26 February






Last Updated: 13 March 2013

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