Veterinarians play an important role in limiting and minimising the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
- are often the first point of contact for animal owners and producers seeking medical help for animals
- have frequent contact with animal owners so can be influential and assist in addressing the problem of AMR
- do AMR research and surveillance to see if AMR exists in animals and how widespread it is
- develop information resources to help animal owners and producers prevent and control AMR.
Further information on AMR in veterinary practice is on the:
What you can do
- Pause and consider the need for each antibiotic prescription
- Talk to clients about ways to minimise the use of antibiotics
- Apply best practice biosecurity and hygiene measures, including antibiotic stewardship plans
- Use published therapeutic guidelines, where available
- Educate animal owners and producers about how AMR develops and spreads
- Pause and consider the need for every antibiotic prescription
- Avoid unnecessary treatments
- Consider alternative treatment options
- Base antibiotic choice on culture and sensitivity testing, where possible
- Choose antibiotics non-critical to human care
- Use antibiotics with the narrowest appropriate spectrum of activity
- Be cautious with off-label use:
- refer to the Australian Veterinary Association’s veterinary prescribing guidelines and the University of Melbourne’s veterinary prescribing guidelines
- Promote and apply best practice infection, prevention and control measures in clinics and on farms
- Complete a continuing professional development course on appropriate antimicrobial usage
- View the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer’s plenary address on AMR presented at the Australian Veterinary Association’s 2017 Annual Conference
- Refer to the combined Australian Veterinary Association and Animal Medicines Australia’s fact sheets about the responsible and judicious use of antibiotics in companion animals, and livestock and horses.