‘Trust your vet’, BVA pleads as survey reveals widespread AMR fear

5th December 2023
Industry News

The BVA has urged animal owners to trust their vets after a new survey revealed widespread concern about the potential for antibiotic resistance to limit treatment options.

Data from the association’s latest Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey showed 87% of respondents were worried that resistance could leave them unable to treat infections.

The project also found high levels of unease at potential restrictions on the use of antimicrobials (84%) and an inability to control surgical infections (75%).

Awareness week

The data, released on Friday during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, also coincides with the second annual Antibiotic Amnesty campaign to encourage clients to return unused medications to their practices.

Although figures released earlier this month showed a 59% drop in antibiotic prescriptions for food-producing animals since 2014, the survey also showed significant concerns about levels of public awareness of the wider AMR threat.

Overall, only 35% of vets felt clients were aware of the issue, although particularly acute challenges were identified in the small animal sector.

Among 302 participants working in small animal practice, 84% said they had been pressured either sometimes or often to prescribe antibiotics, while client expectation (49%) was identified as a major factor in the development of resistance, along with poor owner compliance (64%), lack of sensitivity testing (57%) and over-prescription (55%).

‘We can do more’

BVA president Anna Judson said: “Antibiotics are a vital tool in our ability to treat diseases in both people and animals effectively, but vets, like their counterparts in human medicine, are worried about excessive and improper use leading to some bacteria no longer responding.

“We’ve made huge progress in refining and reducing antimicrobial use in farm animals in the UK, but we can do more.

“Livestock keepers, horse owners and pet owners can all play an important role in keeping antibiotics effective by following their vet’s instructions and giving the recommended dose, at the right time, and completing the prescribed course.

“Also, [they should ]trust a vet if they want to conduct further tests so they can give the right drug for a particular infection.

“Finally, please return any unused antibiotics to a vet practice for safe disposal, both to help tackle AMR and prevent environmental pollution.”


Credit to:  ‘Trust your vet’, BVA pleads as survey reveals widespread AMR fear (Vet Times)

Vet Times. (2023).  ‘Trust your vet’, BVA pleads as survey reveals widespread AMR fear [online]

Available at:  https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/trust-your-vet-bva-pleads-as-survey-reveals-widespread-amr-fear/