Veterinarians take their obligation to minimise the chances of “superbugs” very seriously, said AVA spokesperson Dr Stephen Page, ahead of Antibiotic Awareness Week.
The general public can be made aware of two ways to reduce spread of resistant bugs; hygienic food preparation and avoiding contact with treated animals.
More than 4,000 human health professionals are joining in animal health specialists as part of Antibiotic Awareness Week.
“While resistance mainly originates from antibiotic use in humans, there’s evidence that the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals also contributes to the problem,” said Dr Page.
“Proper care of animals is critical to their health and welfare and that can include providing antibiotics when they’re needed. Fortunately, there are stringent systems in place in Australia for registering antimicrobials for use in food animals, particularly those antimicrobials important to human health.
“Certain antibiotics aren’t used at all in food animals in Australia, while others are used under very strict guidelines.
“We’re also pleased to see many agricultural industries have changed management practices so they can reduce antibiotic use. But there will always be some risk of infection and a need to use antibiotics at those times,” he said.