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December 15, 2021

Delegates to consider new policy on collection of antimicrobial use data, other policy changes

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A new policy would provide the AVMA’s perspective on the collection of antimicrobial use data to help combat drug resistance.

The AVMA House of Delegates will consider the new policy along with other policy changes during the regular winter session of the HOD, Jan. 7-8 in Chicago. The AVMA Board of Directors submitted the resolutions.

The AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials proposed the new policy on collection of antimicrobial use data. The committee assists with developing much of the AVMA’s comments to external stakeholders in response to questions about antimicrobial use. Many of the documents that the committee has been asked to review and a substantive number of inquiries received seek information about the AVMA’s perspective on collecting data on antimicrobial use and how the data collected might be used to support antimicrobial stewardship.

Gloved hand holding an antimicrobial susceptibility testing petri dish with other petri dishes on a table
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing

The committee developed the proposed policy as guidance for the collection of antimicrobial use data and to encourage veterinarians and key stakeholders to collaboratively and appropriately use this data to promote antimicrobial stewardship. The policy describes best practices for collecting antimicrobial use data, what should be considered during data analysis, and how the data might be used to inform and advance veterinary clinical decision-making.

The HOD also will consider revisions to the policies on “Rabies” and “Annual Rabies Vaccination Waiver.” The AVMA Council on Public Health recommends revising the rabies policy to, in part, emphasize that rabies infection is almost invariably fatal and that vaccination of animals is a critical step in preventing infection and protecting public health.

The council recommends revising the policy on vaccination waivers to support communication to clients that unvaccinated animals are at risk of rabies infection if a confirmed or suspected exposure occurs and to convey that under certain conditions of exposure, if a client has requested and been granted a waiver for a rabies vaccine for an animal, euthanasia of the animal may be included in recommendations or required under certain public health regulations.

In another recommendation, the AVMA Food Safety Advisory Committee proposes restructuring the policy on “Food Safety” regarding foods of animal origin, partly by incorporating the policy on “U.S.-Banned Drugs Used by Exporting Countries.”

Finally, the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service recommends revising the policy on “Guidelines for Classifying Veterinary Facilities” to make minor changes for consistency of wording and to add definitions for urgent care facilities and offices. An outpatient or urgent care facility would be defined as a facility that may admit patients for the short term but where all patients are discharged at the end of the workday. An office would be defined as a facility where limited or consultative practice is conducted and that provides no facilities for housing patients.

The HOD will have to waive the requirement for 60-day notice to consider the recommendations on the policies regarding antimicrobial use data and the classification of veterinary facilities.