IFAH Statement in response to the WHO’s World Health Day

IFAH Statement in response to the WHO’s World Health Day

18/04/2011

The International Federation for Animal Health, IFAH, welcomes the initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to highlight the need to combat the build-up of resistance to medicines and in particular resistance to antimicrobials, however warns against a blanket call for reduction of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals.

IFAH’s Executive Director Barbara Freischem explains: “In spite of disease prevention and bio-security measures, there are still many bacterial diseases and infections circulating amongst animals just as there are amongst humans. These need to be treated to protect both animal and human health as well as animal welfare. It is therefore in the interest of all to keep existing medicines working, and this is best achieved by encouraging responsible use. IFAH and its members are committed to a range of initiatives which promote this. Effective surveillance of the use and misuse of medicines will provide the data for science-based decision making, and with infection control and the commitment that responsible use initiatives foster, we are working to ensure that our veterinary medicines remain effective and safe.”