Vet group launches antibiotic reduction initiative

A vet group has launched a new initiative aimed at reducing the use of antibiotics at its small animal practices.

Vets4Pets and Companion Care surgeries have been provided with a STAR (Stop and Think, are Antibiotics Required?) toolkit to challenge established prescribing behaviours and promote best practice for antibiotic use.

It has been developed by Vets4Pets’ clinical services team in conjunction with its Clinical Advisory Board of practicing vets and nurses. It incorporates new approaches and draws on ideas from organisations such as the World Health Organisation, BVA, BMA, BSAVA, NOAH, the VMD and The Bella Moss Foundation.

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The group is following livestock vets and the NHS in promoting responsible antibiotic use and effective hygiene and disinfection measures.

Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: “Without concerted effort, antimicrobial resistance may make much of the modern healthcare we take for granted today impossible to deliver in the future. It’s taken nine months of development and refinement to finalise the STAR initiative, but now it’s being rolled out to more than 450 practices.

“Antibiotic resistance is a recognised problem in human healthcare with bacteria such as MRSA. While multiple antibiotic resistance is currently rare in veterinary care, we still need to act responsibly to reduce the risk of its development.

He added: “Livestock vets have recorded a 30% reduction in antibiotic use with initiatives in their sectors, and we’ll be monitoring and reporting on antibiotic prescribing levels within our practices going forwards.”

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