Global leaders in animal health concluded a meeting in Morocco with renewed calls for veterinarians and farmers to limit the use of antibiotics in livestock production.
The World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE) 2nd Global Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Prudent Use of Antimicrobial Agents in Animals, ended with the organization calling for new research into priority vaccines, phasing out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion and ensuring that veterinarians, veterinary professionals and farmers work together to ensure the prudent and responsible use of key drugs.
More than 500 people from the OIE’s 182 member countries attended, including those from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank, and the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group on AMR.
The OIE says prevention of AMR in farming is critical to human health, food safety, food security, animal health and animal welfare. Antimicrobials are used around the world to control and treat infections in animals and humans, but their overuse and misuse puts their efficacy at risk. Unprecedented movements of people, animals, goods and food worldwide, enable resistant pathogens to populate the planet with ease.
Discussions highlighted the need for cross-sector, national level coordination through national action plans to prevent the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
“It is only by promoting the responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials that their efficacy can be safeguarded, ensuring that essential medicines that protect both human and animal health can continue to be used.” said Dr Monique Eloit, Director General of OIE. “We have made important progress in this mission today. International Standards on prudent use already exist. We now need to put them into practice at national level to tackle AMR. For this, international collaboration is essential. By working together, countries can discuss challenges, share best practice and make global improvements.”