Global Animal Health Industry Urges G7 Nations to Promote Cross-Cooperation between Human and Veterinary Sectors to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

Brussels, Belgium, 7-8 June 2015 – HealthforAnimals welcomes initiatives to table the issue of antibiotic resistance at the 41st G7 Summit in Upper Bavaria on 7 and 8 June 2015. The association believes it is important that antibiotics, which are vital tools in any veterinarian's and medical doctors' toolbox, are used responsibly whenever they are employed, whether by the human medical world, the veterinary sector, or elsewhere.

Antibiotics are a vital part of the veterinarian's toolkit. They are necessary to fight bacterial infections in animals, farming animals and pets alike. From a welfare and ethical point of view, it is necessary to preserve these antibiotics: inflammatory conditions like Mastitis and lameness are extremely painful for the animal concerned and farmers have a moral duty to avoid suffering.

We must ensure the continued availability of antibiotics for both human and veterinary medicines. HealthforAnimals therefore encourages a stronger dialogue and co-operation between the two medical sectors to ensure the continued availability of antibiotics for both human and veterinary medicines. Another factor to push forward is the increased need for innovation within both sectors to find new antibiotics.

A general call for reduction in the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine, however, is not appropriate and in the long term will be damaging to the health and welfare of animals, with potentially a significant impact on people (e.g. when zoonoses go untreated, or when families depending on livestock reared for an income lose their animals through disease).

Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, HealthforAnimals' Executive Director said, "As an industry sector we actively promote the responsible use of all our products, including antibiotics, and we engage with several platforms on this topic. Effective and targeted use of antibiotics will be an essential part of any strategy to turn back the tide of infectious disease and increased resistance. In addition to all stakeholders involved adopting measures to ensure appropriate and responsible use, there is also a need for a regulatory environment which stimulates innovation and allows the global animal health industry – as well as the human pharmaceutical sector – to keep developing new and innovative products.

There is a need to agree on successful strategies to keep existing antibiotics working to the benefit of all, and we can only achieve that through cross-cooperation between the two medical sectors together with all stakeholders involved."