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Responsible Antibiotic Use is Key Theme of Animal Health Week

02 October 2014

GLOBAL - The Canadians are celebrating Animal Health Week with a particular focus on using antibiotics safely but this has also been a hot topic in the US and indeed, globally this week. New outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian flu in poultry in Russia and South Korea are also causing concern.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is highlighting antimicrobial stewardship during Animal Health Week from 28 September to 4 October 2014. It is an opportunity to promote veterinarians as responsible stewards of the important medications that keep animals and humans healthy, the association says.

Using the campaign slogan 'Our Role, Our Responsibility', the CVMA is encouraging all animal owners to trust in their vet, use antibiotics safely and keep their pets healthy.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is joining the CVMA in their campaign, saying it too understands that antibiotics should be administered exactly as prescribed in order to preserve their effectiveness as well as protect animal and livestock health.

Animal Health Week is a national public awareness campaign organised by the CVMA and hosted annually by veterinarians across Canada.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has announced that new regulations will come into effect in December 2016 regarding how veterinarians will authorise the use of medically important antibiotics in the feed of poultry and other food animals.

The announcement follows a report late last month by the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which said that combating antibiotic-resistant microbes is vital to support patient care, economic growth, agriculture and economic and national security.

As global experts come together at the 3rd International Conference on Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the International Federation for Animal Health has reinforced its message of responsible use of antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine.

The Federation's director explained: “Conferences such as this one in Amsterdam will hopefully stimulate a more collaborative approach by all stakeholders involved in the debate for the protection of animal and public health for future generations."

And finally, on bird flu news, 1,200 ducks are reported to have died at a farm in the south-west of South Korea as the result of an infection with the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus, while in Russia, the H5N1 virus has hit two poultry farms in Siberia. This is the first time avian flu has been found in Russia since December 2012; wild birds are thought to be the source of infection.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock





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