After participating in a White House forum on antibiotic resistance yesterday, Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), reiterated the association’s commitment to enhanced veterinary oversight and responsible therapeutic use of antimicrobials in food animals to help protect the safety of people, animals and the food supply.
The Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship was held to support the implementation of the White House’s National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. More than 150 key leaders from public and private human and animal health organizations were on hand to discuss their organizations’ commitment to the action plan with federal officials.
In addition to the responsible use and veterinary oversight of antimicrobials used in food animals, Dr. DeHaven shared several other commitments the AVMA planned to make to meet the federal government’s recommendations on combating antibiotic resistance, including:
- Initiating an educational outreach campaign on the responsible therapeutic use of antimicrobials in animals, including greater veterinary oversight to assist in compliance with FDA guidance and regulations
- Advocating for enhanced funding and capacity for surveillance and response in diagnostic animal health laboratories and the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, as well as studies to assess antimicrobial resistance in food animals
- Advocating for research and programs that address infectious and zoonotic diseases, food security and safety, and environmental issues relating to human and animal well-being
- Promoting the understanding of antimicrobial resistance and the further development of alternatives to or improved uses of antimicrobials in food animals
- Developing risk assessments to evaluate effectiveness of risk-mitigation strategies
- Engaging in national and international scientific discussions on antimicrobial use and resistance
The AVMA has long recognized the potential for the development and transmission of resistance as a result of veterinary antimicrobial use. It is crucial, however, that safe and effective antimicrobials remain available for use in veterinary medicine to ensure the health and welfare of animals, in addition to the health of humans and the safety of our nation’s food supply.
Over the past year, the White House has taken a number of steps to combat antibiotic resistance. In September 2014, President Obama signed an executive order prioritizing federal efforts to combat the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The administration also issued the National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released a report with recommendations to address the crisis of the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
In March 2015 the Administration issued the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, a comprehensive plan that identifies critical actions for key federal departments and agencies to enhance diagnosis and treatment and limit the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Antimicrobials are an important part of the veterinarian's toolkit, and the AVMA agrees with the White House that they should be used responsibly and in the best interest of animal health and public health.
For more information about the summit, as well as AVMA’s specific commitments to the White House’s plans to combat antibiotic resistance, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA senior media relations specialist, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance, visit the AVMA’s web site at avma.org/antibioticuse.