Today (Wednesday 18 November) is European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) and vets are being urged to sign an online pledge to become an “antibiotic guardian”.

Vets are being urged to become “antibiotic guardians” to raise awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance. Image: Thomas Picard

EAAD is an annual public health initiative to raise awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance, as well as the importance of prudent antibiotic use to help prevent resistant bacteria from developing and help keep antibiotics effective for the use of future generations.

Key medicines

The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance supports the initiative, and the organisation’s secretary general John FitzGerald said he was pleased to see RUMA members such as the BVA and NFU using antibiotic awareness day to provide information on the responsible use of antibiotics, which are key medicines in both human and animal health.

He said responsible use of antibiotics in livestock helps 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.

Perfect opportunity

EAAD provides an ideal opportunity for everyone to confirm their support for using antibiotics responsibly by signing the pledge to become an antibiotic guardian at

Mr FitzGerald explained: “There are pledges relevant for everyone to show how they, personally, can support responsible use. As well as those aimed at the medical profession and the public, there are specific pledges for veterinarians, farmers and pet owners too.”

Mr FitzGerald added he has taken the pledge and encourages others to do so.

To coincide with EAAD, the Equine Veterinary Journal has published a special online collection of articles on antimicrobials. This Antimicrobial Resistance Virtual Issue is free to all readers and highlights the understanding of equine antimicrobial resistance and how the profession can preserve the effectiveness of these essential medicines.

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