Publications World Veterinary Day 2012: IFAH renews call for responsible use of antimicrobials

World Veterinary Day 2012: IFAH renews call for responsible use of antimicrobials


Brussels, 28 April 2012 – The International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) renews its call for responsible use of antimicrobials on the occasion of World Veterinary Day 2012. Initiated by the World Veterinary Association (WVA) in 2000, World Veterinary Day recognizes the vital work that veterinarians perform and, in collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), rewards the most successful celebrations of the veterinary profession by national veterinary associations and bodies every year. The theme of this year’s award is antimicrobial resistance. The award will be delivered at the OIE 80th General Session in Paris, France on 20-25 May 2012.

IFAH Executive Director Barbara Freischem said: “Antimicrobials, and especially antibiotics, are indispensable tools in the control of animal disease through appropriate prevention and treatment. Their contribution to animal health and basic animal welfare, as well as to human health through treatment of potentially contagious diseases and the supply of safe, high quality food for consumption by the world’s growing population, is crucial.

Like all medicines, however, antibiotics need to be used responsibly. It is vital that they are used with care and discrimination to help maintain their effectiveness and limit resistance development. Innovation and R&D will also be of vital importance to find new classes of antibiotics and to find innovative ways to fight new diseases which pose a risk to both animals and humans. Policy makers need to consider the encouragement of an environment which fosters this much needed innovation.”

IFAH joins the WVA and OIE in celebrating the promotion of good governance of veterinary services. Numerous voluntary national and regional guidelines on the responsible use of veterinary medicines, including antibiotics, have been developed and instituted over the past decade to encourage best practices in veterinary medical practice. The animal health industry supports these initiatives and is committed to maintaining the availability and efficacy of antibiotics as an essential part of the veterinarians’ toolbox to be used responsibly: as little as possible, as much as necessary.”

The International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) is an organisation representing manufacturers of veterinary medicines, vaccines and other animal health products in both developed and developing countries across five continents.