This November, the FIVP would like to encourage its members to take part in Antibiotic Amnesty 2023.
Led by the Responsible Use of Medicines Alliance – Companion Animal & Equine (RUMA CA&E), the Antibiotic Amnesty is a One Health initiative across UK veterinary practices, asking clients to return any antibiotics which are unused or out-of-date to their practice to be disposed of safely.
The campaign is helping to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance among clients, in an effort to protect the efficacy of medications.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microbes becomes immune to the medication designed to treat infections. This can lead to bacterial infections in humans and animals that cannot be treated with antibiotics, which can result in a global health situation.
It is hoped that the initiative will prevent this crisis, by educating pet owners of the risks that using outdated or unnecessary antibiotics on their pets can have.
When a pet is given unnecessary or outdated antibiotics, there is a risk that microbes can begin to generate a resistance to the drug, affecting its future efficiency in treating certain illnesses. It can also result in the animal developing dangerous side effects, and make conditions harder to diagnose.
By promoting the safe disposal of excess drugs, the campaign also aims to prevent the environmental pollution that incorrect disposal can result in. When antibiotics leak into rivers, they can harm wildlife and cause dangerous bacteria to develop an immunity to their effects.
RUMA CA&E is asking veterinary practices to take part by setting up a pharmaceutical bin, and encouraging their clients to hand in any unused medication. They also suggest conversations with clients about the importance of safe antibiotic use.
Practices can use the #AntibioticAmnesty to share their progress and promote this message.
They are also asked to complete a survey at the end of the month letting BSAVA how things went, and how many antibiotics were collected, for the chance to win a free one year membership to The Webinar Vet and a free BSAVA manual of their choice. This survey can be completed here.
For more information, please visit the Antibiotic Amnesty website.