Antibiotics are key to treating infections in humans and animals - there are no alternatives to treating life-threatening bacterial infections. The world has recognized that antimicrobial resistance in humans is a challenge that costs lives.
Our vision is a world where veterinary antibiotics are used responsibly to protect and treat animals, and where they maintain their value as a therapeutic tool. An equally important challenge is maintaining and increasing food safety and security. To address these interconnected challenges, companies and organizations commit to five principles and practical actions, and will proactively encourage others to embrace them.
We will meet the ethical requirement of protecting animals by providing animal health products of the same high quality as products developed for people. In addressing AMR, we will take a One Health approach to cooperation, equally considering human and animal health, and environmental impact.
To address AMR, we will strengthen partnerships between animal health companies, farmers, veterinarians, retailers, authorities and associations. We will reach out to seek new solutions and ideas and are open to explore joint actions with others.Supporting Actions:
We promote the use of antibiotics for therapeutic reasons. Under the adage “as little as possible, as much as necessary”, we will continue to promote responsible/judicious use by providing clear labels and good technical advice.
We recommend antibiotics be used under veterinary supervision where available. In countries that lack veterinary capabilities, imposing this requirement before addressing the shortage of veterinarians condemns animals to unnecessary suffering.
We will increase our efforts to encourage investment in better access to veterinary care. We actively contribute to the promotion of responsible use principles and practices in national responsible use coalitions.Supporting Actions:
We promote animal husbandry techniques that contribute to disease prevention by sharing our knowledge with producers. We commit to continuing to improve availability of vaccination.
We will seek maximum access and affordability of legitimate products to counter the use of illegal, low quality and fake products in some markets, and contribute to education and training on the dangers of their use. We will advocate for programs to increase the number of veterinarians in developing countries.Supporting Actions:
We will invest in new products that reduce reliance on antibiotics. As animal health companies we will invest between 6%–9% of our annual turnover in the development of new products, diagnostics, genetics and life-cycle management of existing products. Global annual animal health sector revenues are estimated at US$30 billion. Assuming companies not part of HealthforAnimals also invest a similar percentage, this equates to an annual investment of US$1.8–2.7 billion for prevention and treatment options for food and companion animals. Investment at these levels for new solutions is commercially viable only if rising cost factors like regulatory cost are reduced. We encourage governments to: increase incentives for new technological advances, facilitate regulatory pathways for all types of products, encourage increased uptake of vaccination, and support availability and access to veterinarians.Supporting Actions:
We support science and evidence-based solutions. Many animal health companies undertake scientific research into AMR pathways, and we support other groups in their research.
We will continue to contribute to the collection of national and international antibiotic use data. We will encourage producers and retailers to be transparent about animal health and welfare impacts resulting from antibiotic-free production practices.
We will increase our communications efforts about responsible use, vaccination and alternatives and continue to provide data and advice to our customers on managing diseases.Supporting Actions:
These actions are just a sample of the work done across the animal health industry to support responsible antibiotic use. To learn more or to find out how to become a Commitment signatory, contact us.
This Commitment is supported by organizations representing over 200 companies and 700,000 veterinarians worldwide.View the full list