19 Jun 2012

Veterinary antibiotics link to human resistance discussed

9:40 pm on 19 June 2012

The threat of veterinary antibiotics causing human resistance to medication was a talking point at the New Zealand Veterinary Association's annual conference in Hamilton on Tuesday.

The Association's industry branch president Dr Dennis Scott said it was a link that has been made by scientists overseas.

Dr Margaret Chan of the World Health Organisation has previously said more antibiotics are being used in healthy animals for disease prevention than in sick animals for treatment.

Dr Scott says those issues could lead to greater scrutiny of veterinary antibiotic prescriptions in New Zealand.

He says New Zealand vets who treat animals for food consumption are using the medicines sparingly and responsibly.

And he says a number of controls are in place to ensure that.

Dr Scott says, however, he is concerned there is a move away from full vet control of antibiotic prescriptions.