The World Veterinary Association recognizes WAAW to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance (AMR) and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers

 to avoid the further emergence and spread of AMR.

Antimicrobials are crucial for animal health and welfare. Humans rely on animals for food, fibre, work, entertainment, and companionship; therefore, animal health is critical for ensuring food safety, public health, food security and adequate nutrition for people and helps to alleviate poverty. To achieve this, veterinarians work every day on disease prevention and improved antimicrobial stewardship.

Proper use of and access to high-quality antimicrobials, and appropriate oversight of ordering, storage, prescribing and dispensing antimicrobials are common concerns for all animal health stakeholders and should be the focus of continuing professional development for veterinary professionals and paraprofessionals. However, there is a risk that the inappropriate use of antimicrobials in animals may contribute to the development of AMR which can negatively affect humans, animals and the environment.

In the context of promoting prudent use of antimicrobials under veterinary supervision, the WVA and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) created a global repository of available guidelines for responsible use of antimicrobials in animal health. The list includes 133 guidelines, action plans and promotional material on prudent use of antimicrobials, covering a large number of countries, languages, veterinary aspects and animal species. Access to these guidelines shall serve veterinarians and other health professionals to identify best practices for antimicrobials use in animal health and to fight the development and spread of AMR.

WVA strives for veterinary access to a broad range of safe and effective antimicrobials and promotes responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials worldwide.

Handle with care, reflects the overarching message that antibiotics are a precious resource.Overuse and misuse of antimicrobials must be avoided.