In this section you can find out more about the responsible use of antimicrobials in veterinary practice - one of the very important issues currently being addressed by the British Veterinary Association (BVA)
Antimicrobials are essential for the treatment and prevention of infectious and zoonotic diseases in both animals and humans. The antimicrobials used in veterinary and human medicine are closely related and every use can increase the risk of development of microbial resistance.
The use of medicines in animals is fundamental to animal health and welfare as well as the safety of food products for the consumer derived from such animals: antimicrobials are no exception. The continued availability of all classes of existing antimicrobials and the development of new ones are essential for maintaining the wellbeing of both companion and food animals and a critical component for ensuring the safety of the food supply in man.
The medical and veterinary communities share the same concerns over the implications of the development of microbial resistance. To protect animal health, antimicrobials should only be used when necessary and then responsibly. Responsible use of antimicrobials means reducing the need for antimicrobials, and using them correctly. Such use optimises therapeutic effects while minimising the development of resistance.
What the BVA has done
The BVA has issued guidance to veterinarians on the responsible use of antimicrobials as a poster for display on the walls of veterinary surgeries.
The poster is intended to increase awareness of resistance, and as a continuing reminder to veterinarians of the importance of responsible use. It can however also be displayed in practice waiting rooms so that clients are made aware of the problem and that they will only receive antibiotics for their animals when it is really necessary.
More detailed advice on the responsible use of antimicrobials can also be found on this website and through the links below.
Other issues around medicines and the veterinary profession