8 Oct 2018
Therapeutic antimicrobial products are prescribed and used by veterinary surgeons for the treatment
and control of many types of bacterial infection in a wide variety of animal species. If a number of
animals in a group have overt signs of disease, both sick and healthy animals may need to be treated
with therapeutic levels of an approved antimicrobial product for the recommended period. This is
intended to cure the clinically affected animals and prevent the progression of disease in the
Antimicrobial resistance is a natural phenomenon which is an inherent risk associated with any use of
antimicrobial medication both in animals and humans. Opinion is divided on the practical effects of
any resistance associated with antimicrobial use in animals on human health. There is the potential for
spread of resistant organisms from treated humans (directly or via sewage effluent) to animal species,
and from treated animals to humans (either by direct contact, environmental contamination, or
foodborne contamination). Measures aimed at limiting the development of resistance are important for
prolonging the useful life of all antimicrobials in both human and animal medicine.
Use of antimicrobial substances for growth promotion is no longer permitted under EU regulation.
These are the guidelines issued by the BVPA to guide veterinary surgeons on antimicrobial use in poultry.