Weekly Overview: Focus on Responsible Use of Antibiotics

GLOBAL - Starting today in several countries is Antibiotic Awareness Week, which aims to reinforce the message to use antibiotics responsibly in human and veterinary medicine.
calendar icon 17 November 2014
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The use of biosafety practices and instituting biosecurity programmes can help reduce the use of antibiotics on the farm, according to Dr Regina Strie, a vet with Boehringer Ingleheim.

Addressing farmers at an event connected with EuroTier last week, she said that the construction of new farms and the introduction of new farming practices can open up a new range of biosecurity risks.

Farmers have to be aware of the potential risks and be able to adapt their practices to reduce them and increase bioprotection on the farm, she said.

At another EuroTier event, the President of the German veterinarians' association offered his views on possible solutions to the issue of antibiotic resistance.

The use of antibiotics in productive livestock keeping, how to manage antibiotic resistance and how to organise an effective antibiotic monitoring system: these are all important matters of current concern to practising veterinary surgeons, not only in Germany but throughout Europe, said Dr Hans-Joachim Götz, President of the German Federal Association of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (bpt).

The reason is that the risks posed to human health by antibiotic-resistant germs require ever more urgent solutions. One measure of the seriousness of the situation is that Germany will place 'Antimicrobial Resistance' at the centre of its G7 presidency next year.

Antibiotic resistance has increased lately to the point where it that now constitutes a serious risk to public health, according to a new statement from the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE).

The lack of effectiveness of existing antibiotics combined with the lack of new antibiotic treatments raises serious concerns and demands a joint response, it says, adding that primary prescribers play a crucial role.

With seven simple recommendations, FVE and other European health professionals are raising awareness to primary care prescribers on the prudent and responsible use of antibiotics.

The seriousness of antibiotic resistance in animals leading to 'superbugs' has also been underlined by the Australian Veterinary Association.

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