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Antibiotics Vital to Veterinary Profession

19 November 2015

UK - To mark European Antibiotics Awareness Day yesterday (18 November) the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) urged the veterinary profession and pet owners to work together to slow the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections.

Antibiotics have been an important health tool since the discovery of penicillin in 1928 yet today antibiotic resistance is an international One Health concern.

The number of infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria is growing, new antibiotic development is slow, and may be preserved for human healthcare, presenting a bleak outlook on effective veterinary antibiotic treatment in the future.

“We know that many antibacterials considered important in human medicine are also considered important in veterinary medicine,” explains BSAVA President, Trisha Colville.

“This is why the veterinary profession is working hard to promote and practise responsible approaches to the use of these vital medicines, especially those that are highest priority in human medicine. We have to preserve these lifesaving drugs for the future, and also protect our right to prescribe them to our patients.”

“Monitoring antibiotic use is essential because the profession will be able to use that data to ask ‘are we currently prescribing at the right levels, for the right things, and in the right ways?’” said general practitioner Ross Allan.

“It’s also why the PROTECT guidelines from BSAVA are so invaluable to those of us in practice.”

BSAVA’s PROTECT guidelines, developed with the Small Animal Medicine Society, have become an essential tool in helping practices ensure they are taking a responsible approach to antibacterial prescribing. This provides a checklist by which vets in practice can ensure they are taking the best course of action.

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