Australia to develop guidelines for antibiotic use in horses and livestock

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vet-shotGuidelines for the prescribing of antibiotics in horses and livestock will be developed in Australia over the next three years.

The Australian Veterinary Association and Animal Medicines Australia are joining forces to develop the best-practice antibiotic prescribing guidelines. They will help preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobial medicines

Australian Veterinary Association chief executive Graham Catt said veterinarians were an important partner in designing and implementing antimicrobial stewardship policies.

“All prescribers, users and suppliers of antibiotics need to work together to manage antimicrobial resistance and extend the usefulness of our lifesaving antibiotics.

“We are working in partnership with others to provide easily-accessible, clinically-useful antibiotic prescribing guidelines for all the main species treated by veterinarians in Australia.”

Animal Medicines Australia chief executive Duncan Bremner said: “There are already Australian evidence-based guidelines for dogs and cats. With this project kicking off in 2016, we will now also have guidelines for horses, sheep, pigs, poultry and cattle.

“The guidelines will be based on the best available peer-reviewed scientific evidence and will follow responsible prescribing principles.”

Bremner said the guidelines would be a significant step to further improve antimicrobial stewardship in Australia.

The two organisations identified the need for prescribing guidelines tailored to Australian conditions, production systems and regulatory system for antibiotics.

The need for guidelines was also highlighted in the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy released by the Australian Government earlier this year.

Catt continued: “Antibiotic prescribing guidelines for vet practices, livestock and other animal producers will standardise and optimise the use of antibiotics, improving treatment outcomes and minimising resistance in these settings.”

Development of the guidelines will take three years.

The Australian Department of Agriculture has also provided a grant to support the development of the guidelines for pigs.

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