Inappropriate Antimicrobial Use In Veterinary Sector

Animal Health

The results of a research were made public by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in honour of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.

A rep for the organisation said that “the research, the first of its kind, reveals the extent to which antimicrobials are prescribed to equines and uncovers the lack of routine culture and sensitivity testing.”

“The results of a research were made public by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in honour of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week“

“Concerns have been raised regarding the potential inappropriate and overuse of antimicrobials in veterinary species.”

“Once antimicrobial resistance develops, it can result in treatment failure in veterinary patients and, due to the proximity in which animals and their owners often live, the potential transfer of resistant bacteria to people.”

Approximately 20% of animals looked at in the study received antibiotic prescriptions, with almost 9% of these receiving a category B medication, which is “of critical importance for human medicine and should be used cautiously in animals to mitigate the risk to public health”.

Bringing this to light should “encourage others to consider their usage, and promote more responsible prescription.”

Sarah Allen, of VetCompass, said they “hope that by reporting on how commonly antimicrobials are prescribed to horses, and demonstrating where stewardship may be improved,” people may alter their behaviour. “The importance of culture and sensitivity testing is well known by veterinary practitioners, however, more still needs to be done to encourage its routine use.”

David Rendle, head of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) explained that the data “highlights some very important issues that BEVA is working hard to address.”

“Unfortunately, there are real challenges around prescribing antimicrobials in horses and it is not always possible to avoid the use of these medicines. But there is clearly a need for us to redouble our efforts to reduce, refine and replace the use of certain antimicrobial classes and antimicrobials generally.”

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