Fighting antimicrobial resistance

Check out videos of AVA President Dr Paula Parker speaking about antimicrobial resistance.

Fighting antimicrobial resistance is one of the AVA's three strategic priorities.

Antibiotic resistance is a global concern, and the veterinary profession is working alongside human health professionals to address the issue.

Veterinarians rely on antibiotics to treat animals and prevent suffering in pets, livestock and other animals. It is critical that they are able to retain access to the essential medications they need, for the protection of animal health and welfare.

Australian veterinarians are trained and experienced in the principles of judicious antimicrobial use. As a result, Australian animals have low levels of antibiotic resistance in their bacterial fauna, compared to other countries.

In 2015, the Australian Government released its first ever national strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance. It includes a number of priorities for action relating to antibiotic use in animals, as well as issues relating to veterinary practice such as infection prevention and control. The AVA is an active participant in the national One Health initiatives and the implementation of the national strategy.

Co-sponsored by the AVA, the Office of the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, Australian livestock industries and other animal health stakeholders are currently organising the 1st Australian Veterinary Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast QLD | 11-13 November 2018. Visit the website to learn more about this important conference or email the organising committee to enquire about sponsorship opportunities.

AVA's work in the fight against AMR

There are several streams to the program – antibiotic prescribing guidelines, antimicrobial stewardship, community awareness, and the national One Health policy agenda.

Antibiotic prescribing guidelines

In 2017 the AVA embarked on a project in partnership with Animal Medicines Australia. The goal of the project is to develop best-practice antibiotic prescribing guidelines for horses and the main livestock species. In 2018 work commenced on the prescribing guidelines for pigs, with core funding for this module from The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Australian Pork Limited.

Antimicrobial stewardship

Evidence-based prescribing guidelines already exist for dogs and cats (AIDAP prescribing guidelines). In 2016, AVA coordinated a pilot trial of an antimicrobial stewardship program with companion animal practices in Canberra. This idea wasat the instigation of two Canberra practitioners and was supported by a small working group of staff and volunteers.  Results of the trial will be published in due course.

Community awareness

AVA has participated in Antibiotic Awareness Week since 2012 and has been represented on the national organising committee since 2013. This will continue as a way of helping increase understanding about antibiotic use and resistance in animals among animal owners and human health professionals.

One Health policy agenda

AVA is represented on the Australian Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (ASTAG), and this group will be monitoring the implementation plan for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015-2019. The implementation plan includes a number of key projects and concerns recommended by AVA. 

In 2018, the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Mark Shipp, is developing a National AMR Plan for the Animal Sector, and AVA is participating in this important process.

AVA news articles on AMR

AMR Resources

AVA Submissions


Inquiry into the progress in the implementation of the ecommendations of the 1999 Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR) Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration - 15 February 2013 - See more at:


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