Farmers Need Better Training, Tools To Help Prevent Disease In Animals, Antimicrobial Resistance

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Antibiotics are vital to animal health and welfare. So how do we stop growing levels of drug resistance?
Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, executive director for HealthforAnimals

“…Removing antibiotics from farms does not stop animals from becoming sick nor an outbreak from spreading. Whenever disease is present, the need for antibiotics remains. … [T]he best way forward is to reduce the need for antibiotics by preventing disease in the first place. … Vaccination is the most effective way to stop disease from taking hold in an animal and spreading throughout a flock or a herd. Where vaccines exist, global efforts should focus on ensuring farmers and their livestock have access to them. Where a vaccine doesn’t currently exist, scientists should be properly supported by both public and private sectors to develop them. Farmers must also then receive better training and support in maintaining good overall animal health, which also reduces the likelihood of livestock falling ill. … Finally, our best chance of treating and containing an outbreak … is through early detection and diagnosis. … Like us, animals have the right to be protected from disease, but they also have the right to be treated when necessary” (11/14).