VMD Urges Responsible Use of Antibiotics

UK - In its latest Annual Review 2012-13, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) says responsible antibiotic use is essential in both human and veterinary medicine.
calendar icon 28 August 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

In a section entitled 'Responsible Use of Medicines' in its Annual Review, VMD states that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals is an issue that it takes very seriously. It is a complex issue.

One thing is certain: responsible use is essential in both human and veterinary medicine. Antibiotics are a key part of the veterinary toolbox for treating disease in farm and in companion animals. From the vets who prescribe them to the animal owners who administer them, everyone should use antibiotics responsibly.

Driving changes in use

VMD has taken a number of actions this year to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics:

  • It has banned imports of virginiamycin which is used to control laminitis in horses
  • It has announced a ban on the advertising of antimicrobial products to animal-keepers, to come into effect in October 2013
  • It has issued advice on the use of chlortetracycline (CTC) as an antibiotic in calf milk replacer, confirming its incorporation as an oral powder is illegal.

Educating and persuading

VMD says it is working with others to promote responsible use to vets, farmers and pet owners. While it defends the vet’s right to prescribe antibiotics in order to protect animal health and welfare, VMD emphasises that their use should not replace good farm management and animal husbandry systems.

VMD has published information on our web site and in relevant journals about antibiotic use, and co-sponsored and chaired the debate at the 'Antimicrobial resistance in human and veterinary medicine: one medicine, one problem?' symposium which took place in October 2012.

The symposium brought together researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from both the human and veterinary medical fields to explore the evidence base for antibiotic resistance.

VMD also worked closely with Farmers Weekly to help it prepare their ‘Responsible Use of Medicines’ campaign by providing background information and endorsing their campaign. This campaign was launched in April and attracted a lot of interest from the farming community, generating a productive debate about the importance of using antibiotics responsibly.

Further Reading

You can view the full VMD Annual Review report by clicking here.

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