WVA Conclusions from the Summit on Antimicrobials

Author: WVA

Summit on Antimicrobials

11 October 2011, Cape Town, South Africa

These are the conclusions reached during the World Veterinary Association (WVA) Summit, an event organized with high-level support of both FAO, OIE and WHO during the World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.

The occurrence of antimicrobial resistance is a truly global “One Health issue”, affecting the health and welfare of people and animals as well as the environment. Notwithstanding that there are big differences between countries in consumption and use practices, antimicrobial resistance exists everywhere and is a growing problem.

1. Both animals and humans require treatment with all available classes of antimicrobials. This has to be taken into consideration when considering and reaching agreement on the practical constraints which may be considered for the use of certain classes of antimicrobials.

2. Responsible use of antimicrobials is pivotal both for humans and animals. In the veterinary world and in the medical world the responsible use of antimicrobials must be promoted vigorously ay all levels in their chain of use. Raising awareness and education on the responsible use of these medicinal products in both the veterinary and human sectors is essential on a global scale.

3. Antimicrobials should only be used on prescription prepared by persons who are qualified, licensed and accountable to their competent authority or statutory body. Prescriptions for veterinary use should be made by the veterinarian under whose care the animals exist. Clinical examination of the animals to be treated and accurate diagnosis must be done in accordance with standards for Good Veterinary Practice.

4. Uncontrolled/illegal distribution of antimicrobials must be prevented and violations severely punished Enforcement of rules should be effective, rigorous and dissuasive.

5. Prevention is better than cure. Antimicrobials must never be a default for poor animal husbandry. Good husbandry and management conditions, hygiene measures and where possible vaccination – should be assured to minimize use of these products wherever and whenever possible

6. Measures for controlling antimicrobial resistance should be risk based. Managing the risk of resistance must be firmly based on a scientific assessment of such a risk. Any approach for managing resistance based on a precautionary principle should be exceptional, and clear targets should be set and measures should be evaluated to ensure that the intended objectives are met. Further knowledge should be obtained through internationally coordinated collection of data on antimicrobial use and monitoring of resistance.

7. Prevention of antimicrobial resistance is a “public good”. Everybody is affected and responsible in working to keep antimicrobials effective. This needs strong commitment, global education and enough resources.

The WVA and OIE World Veterinary Day Award 2012 will award the person or organization making the most efforts to educate or prevent antimicrobial resistance.

Background notes:
1. The World Veterinary Association (, founded in 1863, has nearly 100 national veterinary medical associations as well as associate and affiliated members

2. The WVA summit 2011 was organised with high-level support of FAO, OIE and WHO
3. The next WVA Summit will take place on 17 September 2013 during the World Veterinary Congress in Prague: see
4. For more info including all presentations given can be seen here. For images, photographs, interviews, and further information, please contact
5. WVA position on responsible use of antimicrobials


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