An animal health company has launched a European campaign to support vets in the responsible use of veterinary antibiotics in livestock.

Posters to be used by Zoetis for its campaign.

Launched in the same week as European Antibiotic Awareness Day took place (November 18), the campaign aims to encourage the prudent use of antibiotics in people and animals, and aims to highlight the importance of ensuring antibiotic medicines are administered correctly.

Jeff Watts, director of antimicrobial research at Zoetis, said: “As long as bacteria exist, we will continue to face challenges of bacterial infectious diseases, in both humans and animals.

“At Zoetis, we have a continuous research programme into the biggest challenges facing animal health – including antibiotic resistance – and provide the most up-to-date guidance on optimal solutions to help the industry to address these challenges.”

According to Zoetis – which is publicising the campaign through a number of adverts and infographics – responsible use for vets should “include an understanding of the risks of antibiotic resistance and adherence to the principle of ‘as little as possible, as much as necessary’”. The company will help vets across Europe select the most appropriate antibiotic for the animal and its bacterial disease following a diagnosis.

It also encourages veterinary professionals to give tailored instructions to the farmers on use, including:

  • timely treatment with the correct dose
  • the most effective way to administer the drug
  • the correct length of treatment
  • the correct period of post-treatment withdrawal

Zoetis executive vice president and International Federation of Animal Health Europe chairman Alejandro Bernal said: “At Zoetis, we believe antibiotic medicines are a precious resource both for animals and for people. By using them responsibly today, we will work to help protect their efficacy tomorrow. Veterinarians have a duty to protect the health and welfare of livestock, so when animals get sick they need to be treated.

“This is why we are working with vets to ensure they use antibiotics as little as possible but as much as necessary.”

For more information on the campaign, visit Zoetis’ website.

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