Vets urged to sign up for the Antibiotic Amnesty
The BVA has again joined with UK veterinary organisations, practices and charities to run the Antibiotic Amnesty campaign.
Now in its second year, the campaign is encouraging pet owners to return out-of-date and unused antibiotics to their vet practice so it can be safely disposed of in a bid to help tackle the growing issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), as well as prevent environmental pollution.
This year, small animal and equine practices are being encouraged to take part and contribute to this important initiative.
Fergus Allerton, a vet working in the Midlands, who helps coordinate the veterinary Antibiotic Amnesty, said: “Studies show that leftover antibiotics are rarely returned to pharmacies or vets and are more commonly disposed of in household waste or down sinks and toilets. This could potentially contribute to a reduction in the effectiveness of antibiotics and have a negative impact on water quality, aquatic life and wildlife. Last year’s pilot amnesty campaign was a great success, and this year we want even more practices taking part.”
Ian Ramsey, Professor of Small Animal Medicine at the University of Glasgow and a past president of BSAVA, said: “It’s no secret that antibiotic residues have been detected in rivers around the world. Use of leftover or expired antibiotics could risk adverse effects and increase the risk of AMR if used for the wrong indication and could delay a diagnosis. The Antibiotic Amnesty helps focus efforts and attention on AMR and we hope that by encouraging more practices to sign up this year we can educate owners, help reduce harm from inappropriate use, and protect the environment by encouraging safe disposal.
As of June 2023, it is a regulatory requirement for all practices to actively take back medicines under the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme at veterinary general practitioner level.