A new antimicrobial resistance (AMR) subject matter expert has been appointed to the clinical board of leading veterinary group Linnaeus.

Fergus Allerton, RCVS & EBVS® European Specialist in small animal internal medicine at Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service, now leads the group’s response to the threat of AMR.

Professor Séverine Tasker, Chief Medical Officer at Linnaeus, said:

“Congratulations to Fergus on his well-deserved appointment. His expertise in AMR will help to inform our clinical board as well as our teams working in clinical practice around the UK and Ireland. Fergus will also be liaising with our colleagues at Mars Veterinary Health to engage in global conversations about AMR.

“The growing problem of AMR is a key priority for the Linnaeus clinical board and Fergus’s insight will be highly valuable for us all.”

Fergus has embraced a national, collaborative approach to addressing AMR. He is leading a major study into the use of antibiotics to treat canine urinary tract infections (UTIs) in female dogs and aims to gather more than 900 cases from primary care vets across the UK. For the Stop-on-Sunday (SOS) trial all antibiotic courses finish on Sunday evening, which aims to establish the optimal length of treating UTIs and avoid unnecessary antibiotic use.

As part of his new role, Fergus is also coordinating an antibiotic amnesty with NHS England (Midlands), Linnaeus sustainability lead Ellie West and other veterinary organisations in November. Linnaeus’s UK network of primary care and referral sites will be taking part, with 15* practices providing additional feedback and data.

During the amnesty, pet owners will be encouraged to return out-of-date and unused antibiotics for safe disposal. For veterinary pharmacies, this involves accepting animal antibiotics while directing human medicines to NHS pharmacies.

Fergus said:

“AMR is a global issue that extends across human health and animal welfare. Taking a coordinated approach with others can only strengthen our response to this problem. I want to hear from other veterinary practices interested in taking part in the SOS trial and the antibiotic amnesty so we can make a significant impact together as a profession.”

Commenting on Fergus’s new role, Ian Battersby, Global Pharmaceutical Stewardship Lead for Mars Veterinary Health, said:

“Having worked closely with Fergus during my time at Linnaeus, I am really pleased to see him take on the mantle of AMR lead for the group. His knowledge and enthusiasm set a strong example to others. I look forward to collaborating with him as we undertake a coordinated, global response to AMR.”

The Linnaeus Safeguarding Antibiotics programme shares resources with its Associates to promote preventative care and reduce the need for antimicrobial drugs. Between 2021 and 2022 to date, practices across Linnaeus reduced the average milligrams of antibiotics purchased by 19% due to the group’s focus on addressing AMR.

To get involved in the SOS project or antibiotic amnesty, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about Linnaeus visit www.linnaeusgroup.co.uk.

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