IFAH reinforced its call for transparency, monitoring and education on the responsible use of antibiotics to battle antimicrobial resistance. The organisation said there were heightened concerns about the emergence of this antimicrobial resistance, which impacts animal welfare, public health, food safety and the environment. It therefore believed that those working in animal health must commit to the proper use of antibiotics, and the promotion of education on what responsible use of antibiotics means.
Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, executive director for IFAH, said: “IFAH and its members are involved in numerous activities to promote responsible use of antibiotics at global, regional and national levels, in collaboration with different stakeholders such as government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and veterinary and farmer organisations.
“Responsible use guidelines have been presented by the World Animal Health organisation (OIE) and Codex Alimentarius, and are fully supported by IFAH.”
The conference, which ran from 29 September to 1 October, took place at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. It saw a variety of experts, including representatives from IFAH, tackling antibiotic usage to achieve a number of conference objectives. These included giving an overview of the current status and ongoing activities regarding the issue of antibiotic use in animals and antimicrobial resistance; and learning about the expectations of different parties involved.
It also aimed to identify the areas that need further action with respect to the current scientific knowledge and political expectations; and to open up possibilities for effective actions and the co-ordination of activities.
Prior to the conference, Carel du Marchie Sarvaas said she hoped events like these would stimulate a more collaborative approach by all stakeholders involved in the debate, for the protection of animal and public health for future generations.
A conference representative said it was designed to bring together a wide range of individuals and parties: the animal health industry and the medical community; all users of antibiotics in animals, such as veterinarians, animal feed producers, livestock and aquaculture producers, and nutritionists; food processors, manufacturers, and retailers; policy-makers and regulatory agencies; researchers in universities and research institutes; and others with an interest in the resistance and the sustainability of antibiotics.