November 19, 2020
Zoetis supports call for greater awareness of responsible antibiotic use
Zoetis Inc. has pledged on November 19 its support for World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020, an initiative to encourage the prudent use of antibiotics in people and animals.
Commenting on the importance of the awareness week, Rob Kelly, Zoetis' executive vice president and president of international operations, said: "At Zoetis, we believe antibiotic medicines are a precious resource both for animals and people. By using them responsibly today, we will help protect antibiotic efficacy tomorrow.
"All around the world, we see a change in thinking about antibiotics in livestock. We believe that it is essential that veterinarians and farmers have the right tools, including antibiotics, to treat their animals under the condition that they continue to use them responsibly."
Jeff Watts, Zoetis' director of antimicrobial strategies, said: "As long as bacteria exist, we will continue to face challenges of bacterial infectious diseases. At Zoetis, we continuously focus our research on the biggest challenges facing animal health, including antibiotic resistance and provide the most up-to-date guidance on optimal solutions to support veterinarians and farmers predict, prevent, detect and treat disease. We call this approach the continuum of care because it spans the entire spectrum of health solutions. These include genetic tests, digital innovation for precision farming, vaccines, diagnostics, new classes of antibiotics for veterinary use only, novel and non-antibiotic anti-infective solutions."
Diagnostic solutions are proven tools to reduce the need for antibiotic treatment. For example, VETSCAN DC-Q, a diagnostic solution for dairy cattle, can be conducted as an on-farm or in-clinic rapid test and performs leukocyte counts to detect subclinical mastitis at the quarter level. It has demonstrated a reduction in antibiotic usage in a randomised clinical trial when implementing the test in selective dry cow therapy.
The trial was conducted at the Maccarese farm in Italy, which was committed to increasing their sustainability efforts by reducing the use of antibiotics.
"Thanks to the support of the Zooprophylactic Institute of Rome and Zoetis, the implementation of a selective dry cow therapy had a tremendous impact on the Maccarese farm's sustainability commitment. A recent study showed a 55% reduction in antibiotic need on the farm, with equal milk quality and performance of the cows thanks to selective dry cow therapy using Vetscan DCQ," said Matteo Boggian, farm manager at the Maccarese farm.
For veterinarians, responsible use should include an understanding of the risks of antibiotic resistance and adherence to the principle of "as little as possible, as much as necessary," Zoetis said.
The company helps veterinarians select the most appropriate antibiotic for the animal and the bacterial disease in question following a diagnosis.
Zoetis also encourages veterinary professionals to provide tailored instructions to the farmers on their use, including timely treatment with the correct dose; the most effective way to administer the drug; the correct length of treatment; and the correct period of post-treatment withdrawal.