Antibiotic stewardship actions supported by the animal health sector are having a positive effect across Europe, says AnimalhealthEurope. For World Antibiotics Awareness Week, running from 12-18 November, the European association haslaunched a new webpage, Health for Future Generations, to give an overview of activities and campaigns.
During the course of 2018 AnimalhealthEurope, of which NOAH is a member, surveyed its members to get a clear picture of specific actions being taken at national and European level to promote responsible use of antibiotics and safeguard their future efficacy.
From the UK, NOAH was able to report on the successful launch of its Animal Medicines Best Practice (AMBP) project, which sets out a robust and trusted training programme for all those working in the sheep, dairy, beef and pig sectors. Launched in July 2018, with an e-learning portal for farmers available through online training provider Lantra, the programme now also provides vets with resources to work with their farmer clients to support the responsible use of antibiotics across UK farms. These resources, such as presentations and workbooks, enable vets to deliver face-to-face training to farmers. Vets can offer farmers a signed Certificate of Training that can be used as a record for Red Tractor assessment.
NOAH Chief Executive Dawn Howard explained: “We are looking forward to spreading the word about this project at this week’s London Vet Show. We invite all vets with an interest in helping to tackle AMR to visit our stand M54 and find out more”.
Other highlights from NOAH include its support for the one-minute animated #BeattheBugs video, aimed at pet owners and created by the Bella Moss Foundation to communicate important messages around the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
In addition, Dawn Howard described NOAH’s latest campaign ‘Blueprint for Animal Health’.
“This campaign sets out to further encourage all sectors to work together closely on a three-step approach:
STOP disease getting into the animal
EQUIP animals to fight disease if they do encounter it
TREAT animals appropriately when sickness is unavoidable
“These three steps encompass the full spectrum of animal health, from reducing the risk of exposure to infectious diseases, taking preventative healthcare measures and prescribing appropriate treatments, including antibiotics, in case of illness,” she said. “And our association in the UK is pleased to work alongside our colleagues across Europe to continue to tackle this vital issue for us all.”
Roxane Feller, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General said: “As antibiotics are a precious resource for protecting our health and that of our animals, the industry has been active for a number of years now raising awareness and working with vets and farmers to ensure good antibiotic stewardship. We are seeing the very positive effects of these actions in our exchanges with stakeholders, and the more measurable consequences of greater awareness and improved practices to prevent animal illnesses are being demonstrated in recent reporting on antibiotic use.”
AnimalhealthEurope’s membership across Europe have developed a number of tools and initiatives as part of this antibiotic stewardship to: provide guidance on responsible use; offer training for improving animal health; raise awareness on antibiotic resistance; and invest in the development of innovative products for preventing, diagnosing and treating animal diseases. The association also encourages sustained One Health dialogue with all parties involved in the challenge of antibiotic resistance, andadvocates a maximised use of data collected to improve understanding and provide evidence-based insights for policy-making on addressing antibiotic resistance.
“AnimalhealthEurope will continue to be a strong advocate for the responsible use of antibiotics and will encourage further antibiotic stewardship actions to preserve their effectiveness for future generations. We hope that by sharing these best practice actions implemented in the different countries, other stakeholders and other countries can see this a good source for actionable ideas for improving health care practices. We would encourage everyone to join the animal health sector in taking up the position that antibiotics should only be used as little as possible as much as necessary, and to act on that principle.” concluded Ms. Feller.