‘AMR battle requires change of mindset’ – Veterinary Ireland president

The president of Veterinary Ireland has said that combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires a “change of mindset as well as a change of practices”.

David MacGuinness made the comments while delivering the opening address at Veterinary Ireland’s annual conference for equine and companion animal vets in Lyrath, Kilkenny, today, Friday, November 8.

“The blind use of antibiotics and the unnecessary use of antibiotics are practices which must stop in both human and veterinary medicine,” he warned.

We have to make sure that the most critical antibiotics are preserved for as long as possible by only using them in the most critical cases.

As well as addressing AMR, today’s conference also saw a number of presentations by various experts in relation to dog and horse welfare.

The conference explored the issue of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) in dogs, an issue brought on by the growing popularity of ‘flat-faced’ breeds which develop respiratory problems, such pugs and bulldogs.

Risk factors in relation to Brexit were also discussed.

These included the availability of veterinary medicines, and the transportation of horses in the event that the current tripartite agreement between Ireland, the UK and France breaks down.

A wide range of scientific presentations and clinical demonstrations were also delivered at the conference, ranging from immune mediated disease management to abdominal ultrasound techniques.

Antibiotic training in NI

In other animal health-related news, antibiotic training for Northern Irish beef and lamb farmers will become mandatory from February.

A pilot programme is currently underway, with the training due to be implemented into the Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance (NIBL FQAS) Standard and Rules upon its completion, to encourage the responsible use of antimicrobials, specifically antibiotics, among beef and sheep farmers.

Commenting on the training, industry development manager Colin Smith said: “Industry has already made great strides in the overall reduction of antibiotic usage; however, there is no room for complacency.”