April 28th is World Veterinary Day...
World Veterinary Day was started in 2000 as a way to celebrate the hard work of veterinarians around the world and to recognize the most pressing issues in animal medicine.
Veterinarians do much more than vaccinate household pets. They are responsible for the safety of animal agriculture and therefore protect a large portion of our food supply. Veterinarians are at the forefront of the study of disease transmission and work tirelessly to understand emerging pathogens and their spread from animal to animal and animal to human. Veterinarians also work in laboratories around the world, using animal models to study new medications and disease processes to better serve the human population and keep us healthier.
The selected theme for the 2012 World Veterinary Day is Antibiotic Resistance. This issue is relevant both today and for the future as we continue to discover the dangers of the overuse of antimicrobials and the continuing emergence of powerful, resistant microorganisms.
Since their discovery 60 years ago, antibiotics have revolutionized medicine, both human and animal. Today they are an essential tool for ensuring the health and welfare of our animal patients. However, their overuse, both in private practice to treat disease, and in agriculture to prevent disease, has had far-ranging consequences.
As the use of antibiotic drugs became more common, quickly evolving bacteria started developing ways to survive. These new resistant bacteria quickly outgrow their less protected friends and soon an entirely new “super bug” has evolved, one which modern drugs cannot kill.
Antibiotics are necessary to create a safe and stable supply of milk, meat and eggs but their prudent and responsible use must be promoted. The same can be said for their use in private practice. No antibiotic is a cure-all for disease and in the majority of cases are not appropriate to treat a given condition. Careful and purposeful use of antibiotics around the world is crucial for ensuring a healthy future for humans and the animals we love.
Please visit the World Veterinary Association for more information.