Vets urge animal owners to use antimicrobials with care

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antimicrobial resistance

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is imploring consumers to handle any antimicrobials prescribed to their animals with care, as health authorities around the world contend with the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Antimicrobial medicines are used in both animals and humans and are essential in the treatment of infections. But excessive or inappropriate use has led to the emergence of resistant bacteria which do not respond to antibiotic treatment and threaten the ability of health authorities worldwide to treat and control common infectious diseases.

The World Health Organization has described AMR as one of the greatest global health challenges the world has ever faced.

The AVA has spent years assisting in the fight against the emergence of AMR within Australia, developing robust guidelines and codes of practice for the judicious use of antimicrobials by veterinarians.

As a result, Australian animals have much lower levels of antibiotic resistance compared with animals in other countries, but the organisation says that pet and livestock owners have their own role to play in the fight against AMR.

“Veterinarians rely on antimicrobials to treat animals and prevent suffering in pets and livestock, so it is essential that we are all diligent to protect the efficacy of these vital treatments,” AVA president Dr Julia Crawford said.

The AVA has been actively involved in fighting the emergence of antimicrobial resistance for more than 30 years with the development of antibiotic prescribing guidelines, antimicrobial stewardship initiatives, raising community awareness, and as an active participant in the Federal Government’s National AMR Strategy.

This article was sourced from a media release on the AVA website.

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