The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has organised a week of engaging interactive initiatives for members during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 18-24 November 2020 and has also upgraded its award winning PROTECT ME toolkit, to encourage the continued reduction of the use of critically important antibiotics.
The responsible use of antimicrobials is essential in order to prevent widespread resistance and to ensure continued availability of antimicrobials both in terms of effectiveness and legislation.
During World Antimicrobial Awareness Week BEVA will be running a daily quiz on antimicrobial stewardship, with a vet asking members a question every morning, via video, and providing the answer in the evening.
On European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November BEVA will be hosting a live debate, with leading names from the veterinary and human health sectors giving TED style talks. This will be followed by a series of case discussions with a panel of vets, chaired by David Rendle who is also chair of BEVA’s Health and Medicines Committee.
“BEVA remains opposed to overly restrictive legislation on antibiotic use but believes that the membership has an important role to play in maintaining our freedom to prescribe under the cascade,” said Mark Bowen, co-opted member of BEVA’s Health and Medicines Committee. “It is great to see BEVA making full use of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week to interact with members, encourage healthy debate and make practical information and research highly accessible.”
BEVA has updated its award-winning PROTECT ME toolkit to coincide with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. The update includes new content and refreshed graphics and is a free resource for BEVA members that aims to help compliance and facilitate education of horse owners about the importance of antimicrobial stewardship. Rather than dictating practice policy, it is a toolkit to help practices to develop their own policies.
The revisions were led by Mark Bowen, who was a co-author of the toolkit in 2012. During his Presidency in 2016 Mark was instrumental in BEVA receiving a highly commended award at the Antibiotic Guardian Awards.
Last year’s BEVA survey on antimicrobial use in the equine veterinary sector showed that most equine practices now have antimicrobial guidelines and 50% of respondents use the PROTECT ME toolkit as their primary source of information on the responsible use of antimicrobials.
David Rendle, Chair of BEVA’s Health and Medicines Committee, said: “We have made great strides since the PROTECT ME guidelines were introduced, but multi-resistant bacteria are an increasing problem in equine practice. Affected horses have longer recovery times and their owners are faced with higher costs of treatment. Regrettably some multi-resistant infections simply do not respond to treatment, leading to euthanasia. The problem is relevant to all vets and all horse owners and we must all take responsibility for slowing the development of resistance.”
BEVA’s PROTECT ME toolkit contains Posters and fact sheets for BEVA members to share directly with their clients or through social media. There is also a downloadable ‘no antibiotic required’ non-prescription form. BEVA hopes these resources will help horse owners understand more about the importance of antimicrobial resistance and why antibiotics are not always required.
During the week BEVA will also be sharing a variety of research papers on antimicrobials published in Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) and the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) as well as relevant online CPD resources.
You can register for the live debate here.
For further information BEVA’s PROTECT ME toolkit click here.