November 16, 2016 – The British Veterinary Association (BVA), and Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), the British Medical Association (BMA) and Public Health England (PHE) , – have joined forces for the first time to launch a ‘One Health’ poster for waiting rooms to ensure responsible use of antibiotics ahead of this year’s European Antibiotics Awareness Day, Friday 18 November.
Antibiotics are vital medicines for human and non-human animal health, yet inappropriate use, such as not completing a course of antibiotics as prescribed or taking antibiotics for illnesses that don’t require them, can contribute to the development of resistant bacteria in all animals. The poster, designed for both people and their animals, asks “Are you antibiotic aware?” and aims to highlight how responsible use of antibiotics is necessary in both human and veterinary medicine to ensure the drugs’ continued effectiveness in treating illnesses.
“The UK veterinary profession is committed to the responsible use of antibiotics, and BVA supports all of the great work already being done by the profession to reduce the use of antibiotics across all species,” British Veterinary Association President Gudrun Ravetz said.
“However, reducing the use of antibiotics in animals is just one piece of the jigsaw when it comes to tackling AMR so we’re happy to be working with leading human medical organisations to ensure positive steps are taken across human and animal health to preserve these essential drugs for future generations.”
According to BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a top three concern for vets, with almost half, or 49%, of vets listing it as the most pressing animal health and welfare issue. Further BVA research shows that three out of five vets have seen clients who expect antibiotics to treat their pets and found there is still a lack of understanding about responsible antibiotic use with 70% of vets reporting poor owner compliance.
The four human and animal health organisations are encouraging vets and doctors to download a copy of the poster to display for patients in their waiting rooms. Download your copy (259 KB PDF).