BEVA warns horse owners to not hoard antibiotics

23rd November 2023
Industry News

BEVA is directly appealing to horse owners to not hoard prescribed antibiotics.

As part of its campaigning for Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18 to 24 November), the association has issued a plea to equine keepers to not store unused antibiotics for a rainy day.

It will stress the importance of preventing widespread resistance and ensure continued availability of antimicrobials.


Immediate past-president David Rendle, an RCVS and European specialist in equine internal medicine, said: “Giving random, leftover or old antibiotics to [a] horse for a suspected infection is irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

“It could make things worse, as they might not be the right type of antibiotic for that specific infection and could easily contribute to the problem of resistance. People also forget that antibiotics are not without risk and their use can trigger serious – even fatal – intestinal disease.”

Among the messages, owners will be told multidrug-resistant bacteria are increasingly a problem in equine practice, adding to recovery times and owner costs.

Resistant bacteria

Current BEVA president Roger Smith said: “It is crucial not to throw old medicines away in the rubbish or flush them down the loo, as they can eventually return to the environment, contaminating soil and watercourses and cause damage to wildlife.

“The problems we are seeing with antimicrobial resistance is relevant to all vets and all horse owners, and we must all act to reduce the development of resistance.”

BEVA’s Protect Me toolkit has posters and fact sheets BEVA members can share directly with their clients or through social media.


Credit to:  BEVA warns horse owners to not hoard antibiotics (Vet Times)

Vet Times. (2023).  BEVA warns horse owners to not hoard antibiotics [online]

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