Veterinary body to reassure MPs on antimicrobial resistance

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has announced it will reassure members of parliament (MPs) of its dedication to tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

At the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) BVA’s past president Peter Jones will update MPs on the efforts being made by the BVA to tackle AMR. As opposed to antibacterial resistance, AMR is a resistance to other drugs used to treat infections caused by other microbes as well bacteria, such as parasites, viruses and funghi.

Jones will say: “We know that the biggest cause of antibiotic resistance in humans is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human medicine and this was highlighted in the joint report on resistance from the Department of Health (DoH) and Defra.

“However, we are not complacent about the role of antibiotic use in veterinary medicine and we are one of the leading voices in the campaign for the responsible use of antibiotics in all species.

“We remain committed to the One Health principle and the need for the medical and veterinary professions to work together to tackle antimicrobial resistance. BVA and our specialist divisions are currently working on a plan to deliver the five-year strategy on AMR from the veterinary perspective. The actions being taken have been published along with those of our partners in the RUMA response to the DoH/Defra strategy.

“One of our key aims for the strategy will be to promote the importance of evidence-based responsible use among both vets and their clients. We are already encouraging education on minimising resistance, and the principles of responsible use, through engagement with the veterinary schools and other stakeholders, and through our own continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

“The use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine in Europe in the future may well be different to how we have used them in the past, with certain constraints on certain classes of critically important medicines used in man. We will cooperate in adapting to this new environment but any changes must be based on sound scientific risk analysis and not on misrepresentation of the evidence, or at worse falsification of that evidence.”

Meanwhile, the BVA intends to raise desires for “quicker, cheaper and more accessible accurate sensitivity and pen-side testing for veterinary use”, which it emphasised in recent submissions to the Science & Technology Select Committee and the APPG on Eggs, Pigs and Poultry.

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