Vets urge responsible antibiotic use by pet owners

05 April 2018

British Veterinary Association has joined Defra, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) in launching the Trust Your Vet campaign today, urging pet owners to follow veterinary advice and trust their vets on the use of antibiotics.

Findings from BVA’s latest Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey reveal that nearly two-thirds of vets (66%) feel their clients are not aware of the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Also, almost 90% of vets say that clients come to appointments, at least sometimes, with an expectation they will provide antibiotics for their pets.

AMR poses a global threat to human and animal health and requires concerted efforts across the medical and veterinary professions to steward responsible use, as recognised in the UK Government-commission global Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, chaired by Lord O’Neill (May 2016).

BVA is a member of RUMA and has been working closely with stakeholders in government and industry to develop appropriate and evidence-based targets across the livestock sector. These concerted efforts have led to levels of antibiotic use in farm animals falling to an all-time low in the UK, and the profession must now address antibiotic use in companion animals, specifically client expectation and understanding, as part of a One Health approach to tackling AMR.

Commenting on the campaign, British Veterinary Association President John Fishwick said:
“Vets are working hard to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance to ensure these vital medicines can be used in the future.

“It is incredibly important that pet owners follow veterinary advice and trust their vet’s clinical judgement.”

Christine Middlemiss, UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, said: 
“We are a nation of animal lovers, and are committed to having some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world.

“We all want to take care of our pets which is why it’s important to remember that antibiotics are not always the best treatment.

“If that’s what your vet says – trust your vet.

“We all have a part to play in tackling the threat that is antibiotic resistance and reduce it wherever possible.”

John Chitty, British Small Animal Veterinary Association President said:
“Antimicrobial resistance is a major problem in all species, so trust your vet to give professional and impartial advice on the correct use of antibiotics to help not only your pet, but the whole pet population.”

To help raise awareness of the campaign, we’re encouraging vets to put up this poster in their practices and share a photo of it via social media with the hashtag #TrustYourVet. The poster is available in Vet Record (6 April) and is also downloadable at www.bva.co.uk/trustyourvet, where you can also find other resources.

 

BVA Media Office