Vets urge responsible antibiotic use by pet owners

05 April 2018

The Trust Your Vet campaign encourages pet owners to follow veterinary advice and trust their vets on the use of antibiotics

British
Veterinary Association has joined Defra,
the Veterinary
Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA)
in launching the Trust
Your Vet campaign today, urging pet owners to follow
veterinary advice and trust their vets on the use of antibiotics.

Findings
from BVA's latest Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey reveal that nearly
two-thirds of vets (66%) feel their clients are not aware of the issue of
antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Also, almost 90% of vets say that
clients come to appointments with an expectation they will provide antibiotics
for their pets.

AMR
poses a global threat to human and animal health and requires concerted efforts
across the medical and veterinary professions to steward responsible use, as
recognised in the UK Government-commission global Review
on Antimicrobial Resistance, chaired by Lord O'Neill (May 2016).

BVA
is a member of RUMA
and has been working closely with stakeholders in government and
industry to develop appropriate and evidence-based targets across the livestock
sector. These concerted efforts have led to levels of antibiotic use in farm
animals falling to an
all-time low in the UK, and the profession must now address antibiotic use in
companion animals, specifically client expectation and understanding, as part
of a One Health approach to tackling AMR.

Commenting
on the campaign, British Veterinary Association President John Fishwick said:
“Vets
are working hard to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance to ensure these
vital medicines can be used in the future.

“It
is incredibly important that pet owners follow veterinary advice and trust
their vet's clinical judgement.”

Christine
Middlemiss, UK's Chief Veterinary Officer, said:
“We
are a nation of animal lovers, and are committed to having some of the highest
animal welfare standards in the world.

“We
all want to take care of our pets which is why it's important to remember that
antibiotics are not always the best treatment.

“If
that's what your vet says – trust your vet.

“We
all have a part to play in tackling the threat that is antibiotic resistance
and reduce it wherever possible.”

John
Chitty, British Small Animal Veterinary Association President said:
“Antimicrobial
resistance is a major problem in all species, so trust your vet to give
professional and impartial advice on the correct use of antibiotics to help not
only your pet, but the whole pet population.”

To
help raise awareness of the campaign, we're encouraging vets to put up this poster in their practices and share a photo of it via social media with the
hashtag #TrustYourVet. The poster is available in Vet Record (6 April) and is
also downloadable at www.bva.co.uk/trustyourvet,
where you can also find other
resources.

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