Linnaeus‘s safeguarding antibiotics campaign was launched to coincide with Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18 to 24 November) and is a joint initiative between its sustainability and medical teams, to help tackle the complex issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The campaign, which is being supported by Linnaeus’s small animal and farm animal divisions, aims to promote the need for good preventative care which can reduce the need for antimicrobial drugs.
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate reported a 49 percent reduction in veterinary antibiotics sold in the UK between 2014 and 2018, but concerns remain due to the development of antimicrobial resistance strains and the lack of novel classes of antimicrobial drugs developed since the 1980s.
Linnaeus is utilising several measures to limit antimicrobial use in its practices, including providing animal owners with non-prescription pads that explain the decision for not using antibiotics when a condition is self-limiting and with resolve without antibiotics.
Ian Battersby, head of internal medicine at Davies Veterinary Specialists and AMR subject matter expert on the Linnaeus clinical board, said: “AMR is an important issue for people, farm animals and pets – the WHO now describe it as the silent pandemic.
“A reduction in the efficacy of the drugs we can use would leave us with fewer treatment options for simple infections, which could cause welfare issues for the animals under our care. We must also consider the impact on the planet – the raw materials needed to make the pharmaceuticals that may be prescribed unnecessarily and AB residues in the environment.
“Our associates understand that recognition of underlying diseases and factors contributing to infections is essential to optimise treatment and ergo reduce antibiotic courses required to manage conditions. In addition, good preventative care and good infection control measures can reduce the need for antimicrobial drugs.”
Linnaeus has created client-facing AMR resources to support the campaign and has also hosted a Facebook Live discussion on the topic.
Kathrine Blackie, clinical standards and quality improvement manager at Linnaeus, said: “Antibiotics, have had an incredibly positive impact on human healthcare, animal health and animal welfare; enabling clinicians to treat conditions successfully that were previously fatal. However, the evolution of resistant microorganisms coupled with the length of time it takes to develop new drugs could lead to conditions that were previously curable no longer being treatable.
“Events such as our Facebook Live are an important tool to raise awareness among pet owners and keep the conversation going, so AMR ceases to be a ‘silent pandemic’ and becomes one that we are all very aware of.”
Ian has created a suite of resources on AMR which is available on the AMR page of Davies website.
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