New report tackling the fight on antimicrobial resistance in Australian animals

15 August 2017

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) today released a report on antimicrobial resistance in animals in Australia that extends our knowledge for regulating this global health and welfare concern.

APVMA Chief Scientist Dr Phil Reeves said that the Antibiotic resistance in animals report reviews the current status and describes the chemical regulator’s role in reducing the future incidence of antimicrobial resistance.

“This flagship report will help inform best practice guidance and science-based approaches to ensure the ongoing responsible use of antibiotics in animals for the protection of people, animals and the environment,” Dr Reeves said.

The report highlights the importance of a One Health approach, involving human, animal and environmental health sectors, to help minimise the emergence and spread of so called super bugs from animals to humans, the environment and vice versa.

Australian Government agencies including the APVMA, Department of Health and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and other key representatives from the human and animal health, food, agricultural and environmental sectors are already undertaking activities in this space, with the implementation of Australia’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015-2019.

Dr Reeves said the APVMA will continue to work collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure the responsible regulation of antibiotic use in animals.

“We’re conscious that whatever measures are taken, they must continue to support the health and welfare of our companion animals and the productivity of our livestock industries,” Dr Reeves said.

Both Australia’s Chief Medical and Chief Veterinary Officers have reviewed the APVMA’s report authored by Emeritus Professor Mary Barton AO of the University of South Australia. 

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, said the report makes a very well-considered ‘One Health’ contribution to support the implementation of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy. 

“The APVMA plays an important role in strengthening Australia’s efforts in antimicrobial stewardship across all animal sectors where antimicrobials are used, including supporting the prudent use of antibiotics,” Professor Murphy said.

“Emeritus Professor Mary Barton AO has provided significant contribution to Australia’s efforts to effectively respond to antimicrobial resistance, not only through this report, but over many years of championing this important cause.”

Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp said this report provides a comprehensive national assessment of the issue of antibiotic resistance in animals from an Australian perspective.

“Veterinarians play a critical role in addressing antimicrobial resistance in both human and animal health.  Professor Barton’s report is a very useful contribution to our understanding of this global issue,” Dr Schipp said.  

Read the report and learn more about the APVMA’s regulation of agricultural and veterinary chemicals. 

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