Tuesday, 17 November 2009 12:00 AM
The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) is supporting the 2009 European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November with its 'Use Medicines Responsibly' campaign, launched last month.
Responsible prescribing of all animal medicines, including antibiotics, is equally applicable to veterinary as it is to human medical use.
NOAH chief executive Phil Sketchley says: "NOAH believes appropriate medicine use can only be achieved by looking at all the links in the chain from prescriber to animal.
"There's responsible promotion, which NOAH supports through its longstanding Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines and its new 'Use Medicines Responsibly' campaign with the strapline for promotional material and website advice source at Use Medicines Responsibly, launched earlier this month.
"As well as this, there's responsible prescribing, supported by initiative such as Positive Farm Health Planning, which looks at why there may be problems on a farm, tries to solve them at source by preventing disease and actively monitors change to ensure that medicines prescribed continue to be appropriate.
"And there's responsible use, as promoted for over 10 years by RUMA through its species guidelines for both antibiotics and vaccines. NOAH looks forward to supporting RUMA as its work continues," Phil Sketchley says.
The National Office of Animal Health represents the UK animal medicines industry: its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals.
RUMA (The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance) was set up in November 1997 to promote the highest standards of food safety, animal health and animal welfare in British livestock farming. It launched the original cattle guidelines in June 2000. Since that time the guidelines have been used as part of farm assurance schemes. There are also RUMA guidelines for the responsible use of antimicrobials in cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and fish. See www.ruma.org.uk for more information.
European Antibiotic Awareness Day The first-ever European Antibiotic Awareness Day took place across Europe on 18 November 2008. European Antibiotic Awareness Day is planned as an annually recurring event to raise awareness about the risks associated with inappropriate use of antibiotics and how to take antibiotics responsibly.
In 2008, European Antibiotic Awareness Day set focus specifically on the need for everybody to stop any unnecessary use of antibiotics.
European Antibiotic Awareness Day is a European health initiative in close collaboration with the World Health Organization, as well as many other relevant representative stakeholder groups such as health professionals and scientists.
All public authorities, healthcare professionals, child care professionals and social workers as well as private organisations, families and individuals are encouraged to take part in the initiative and to launch their own activities or discussions on responsible use of antibiotics on European Antibiotic Awareness Day.