Vets have been urged to stand firm in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and learn to say no when owners demand unnecessary antibiotics for their sick pets.
The message comes after a study by NOAH’s European federation, International Federation for Animal Health Europe, revealed the British public is becoming better informed when it comes to understanding the vital role veterinary medicines play in supporting the health and welfare of farm and companion animals, compared to their EU counterparts.
However, the organisation said there was still much to do.
The study involved 6,000 online interviews conducted in Denmark, Germany, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands, which examined public knowledge and attitude towards veterinary medicines compared to UK citizens.
At a meeting hosted by NOAH discussing the implications of the findings, delegates were warned, unless action was taken, the profession could encounter serious AMR problems in the future.
Alison Glennon, head of communications at NOAH, said vets needed to have faith that people would listen to their advice, because they held them in high regard.
“Like GPs, vets need to stick to their guns and really resist pressure because they know what’s best for the animal and which antibiotic will be most effective,” Mrs Glennon said.
“They need to be robust. People have trust in vets and believe they are doing things properly.
“The message vets need to underline is: ‘I am not prescribing an antibiotic because the animal doesn’t need it [or] if I do prescribe an antibiotic, you need to complete the course and do as I say.’ That compliance message is very important because it is the same one being used in the medical profession.”
- Further comment and reaction can be found in the 17 October issue of Veterinary Times.