Veterinarians around the World are worried about Anti Microbial Resistance

Pashu Sandesh, 11th December 2018

Anti Microbial resistance has started to haunt the Vets too. Around the World the Human Doctors are discussing and working out strategies to fight the super bugs which are resistant to the well known antibiotics. Similarly the Vets globally have started to put their thoughts on the Antimicrobial resistance in the Animals.

Veterinary organisations in Europe and the United States have issued a joint statement with the CVMA to ensure oversight of antimicrobial use, mitigation of antimicrobial resistance, and the continuing availability of critical animal and human medications. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is one of three global organisations working together to fight against antimicrobial resistance.

The Joint Statement on Continuous Monitoring of Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance describes strategies to preserve the effectiveness and availability of antimicrobial drugs and safeguard animal welfare, public health, and the environment.

Some recommendations included in the AVMA, Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), and CVMA’s statement are:

  • Veterinarians must retain access to effective antimicrobials for therapeutic purposes for animals suffering from a bacterial disease.
  • Medically or critically important antimicrobials should only be administered to animals with the oversight of a licensed veterinarian.
  • Record keeping is essential at the patient or practice level to evaluate antimicrobial treatments.
  • In addition to evaluating inpidual cases, there also is a need to monitor the overall use of antimicrobials with both companion animals and food production.
  • A global network should be established for surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial use and resistance.
  • Easily accessible, effective, rapid, and standardised diagnostic susceptibility tests should be available and their results should be available to facilitate evidence-based decisions about antimicrobials.

In its guideline published last year, the WHO had strongly recommended “an overall reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals, including complete restriction of these antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without a diagnosis. 

Healthy animals should only receive antibiotics to prevent disease if it has been diagnosed in other animals in the same flock, herd, or fish population. And, where possible, sick animals should be tested to determine the most effective and prudent antibiotic to treat their specific infection. Antibiotics used in animals should be selected from those WHO has listed as being “least important” to human health, and not from those classified as “highest priority critically important”. These antibiotics are often the last line, or one of the limited treatments, available to treat serious bacterial infections in humans.