EU Antibiotic Awareness Day, on 18 November 2015, is an initiative which aims to improve behaviours around antibiotic prescribing and use for both animals and humans.
This year on Antibiotic Awareness Day everyone is asked to pledge their support and become an ‘Antibiotic Guardian’ whether they’re doctors, farmers, vets or the general public.
Antibiotic Awareness Day provides an ideal opportunity for everyone to confirm their support for using antibiotics responsibly by signing the pledge to become an antibiotic guardian. There are pledges relevant for everyone, to show how they, personally, can support responsible use, whether they are a doctor, farmer, vet or member of the general public.
Antibiotics are vital to treat and prevent bacterial infections but there is a risk that by using them incorrectly or unnecessarily bacteria can develop resistance to them. To slow resistance the unnecessary and poor use of antibiotics must be cut.
In the UK only vets and doctors prescribe antibiotics but there has to be efforts from all parties, not just those prescribing medicines to ensure this risk is minimised.
RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance) has put together guidelines on antimicrobials to give advice on all aspects from application and responsibilities of the farmer and vet, to strategies for reduced usage for each sector.
John FitzGerald, RUMA Secretary General, said: “Responsible use of antibiotics in livestock helps to maintain animal health and welfare and provide safe food for the consumer. Antibiotics should not be used as a substitute for good farm management which helps prevent disease and reduce the need for medicines.”
How you can get involved this Antibiotic Awareness Day…
Adopting the RUMA principles on your farm is a great start but there are other ways to show how you support responsible use.
The campaign calls on everyone in the UK (the public, animal and human healthcare communities) to become Antibiotic Guardians by choosing one simple pledge about how they will make better use of these vital medicines. Make your pledge now.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #AntibioticGuardian on Twitter!