April 28th, 2012 marks WORLD VETERINARY DAY and the theme for this year’s celebration is “anti-microbial resistance”. The veterinary profession recognises that antibiotics have revolutionised medical
and veterinary practice since their introduction more than 60 years ago and today are essential tools for ensuring the health and welfare of animals, as well as the food security through safe animal production worldwide. Of recent, some bacteria have demonstrated resistance to different antibiotics, which is an increasing concern for public health and animal health.
The rising development of resistance is preventable through the responsible and prudent use, better control in registration, imports and distribution of antimicrobials particularly through the control of the veterinary profession. The fight against fake and counterfeit drugs, combined with a priority-ranking of selected antibiotics for exclusive veterinary use, remains essential.
Antibiotics are not ordinary products and their administration to animals should be done by veterinary professionnals having all benefited from extensive training on the treatment of animals.
International standards and guidelines on the use of antibiotics in animals and the residues of antibiotics in animal products, including from fish and other aquatic species, are available from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and from the FAO – WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission.