A new strategy statement, detailing the basic principles needed to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR), has been issued by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), alongside a warning that success will only be secured through “commitment from the whole of society”.
“OIE has worked for many years on the subject, in particular by developing dedicated international standards that were revised in 2015,” said the organisation. “However, these international initiatives, although endorsed by the member countries of various organisations, can only fully bear fruit if they are carried out effectively in these countries.
“According to an OIE study, in more than 110 of the 130 countries questioned, there is a lack of comprehensive and relevant legislation regulating the conditions for import, manufacture, distribution and use of veterinary medicines, including antimicrobials. Consequently, these products are often freely sold and their use is unsupervised by animal health professionals.
“The lack of quality controls for these products is also a cause for concern indeed, a study in 2012 showed that, in more than 22% of countries with legislation on veterinary medicines, quality control of such medicines had not been included in the legislation.
“The implementation of international standards and recommendations requires substantial effort at national level, where the actual situation on the ground is sometimes restrictive, due often to the absence of adapted legislation, underfunded Veterinary Services and the existence of parallel markets which are outside the control of health authorities.”
In response to such concerns, OIE has urged countries to help fight AMR by carrying out the following actions:
- regulate the manufacture, circulation and use of antimicrobials in animals, according to international standards;
- train animal health professionals;
- communicate to raise awareness among stakeholders;
- avail high-quality products and their alternative;
- ensure veterinary supervision of antimicrobial use in animal health to make sure that they are used prudently and responsibly;
- monitor antimicrobial use and the development of resistance.
Following a detailed presentation of OIE’s report on AMR during its world assembly in Paris (May 22-27) the new strategy was approved by the organisation’s 180 national delegates.