Britain’s veterinary leaders have been challenged to reach a “right” and “responsible” position on the future use of antibiotics or risk having a new European Commission (EC) regulation inflicted on the industry.
This was one of the key messages left with members of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) by their outgoing president, Robin Hargreaves.
“Earlier this month the EC published its proposal for a new veterinary medicines regulation,” he told BVA members, meeting in Manchester. “We are going through the wording with a fine-tooth comb and will be working through the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe to secure the best possible outcome for our members as it goes through the legislative process.
“We have no doubt that there will be pressure from some quarters to restrict or limit the veterinary use of antibiotics, as concern about antimicrobial resistance continues to grow. We must protect our privileges, but not blindly.”
Mr Hargreaves added that there was no point in merely paying “lip service” to such a challenging global issue, urging members to act now, from a position of genuine belief in doing the “right thing and taking responsibility”.
“If we don’t,” he said, “something will be inflicted upon us because of the inevitable conclusion that something must be done.
“BVA has taken the lead in promoting messages on responsible use, but it’s down to every individual veterinary surgeon to look to himself or herself and ask whether they are doing enough.”
Mr Hargreaves’ successor as BVA president is Shropshire vet, John Blackwell.