WHO World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017

World Antibiotics Awareness Week 13.-19.11.2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been organising this awareness week for a few years now as the issue of rising use of antibiotics has been getting more severe. The campaign idea is to inform people how to avoid the excess and vain use of antibiotics. Rising usage of antibiotics leads to more medicine resistant bacteria and the treatment of different illnesses becomes harder. Animal health in food production plays a major role in reducing the amount of antibiotics in our food products. 

VikingGenetics has been breeding for healthier animals for years and we are taking an active part in reducing the usage of antibiotics in modern food production. 

David S. Ravnkilde, Head of Business Development at VikingGenetics

"There is a growing international concern regarding multi-resistant bacteria (MRSA), and we are starting to see more attention towards the subject from both political and consumer side. The World Health Organization has recently dedicated its efforts to create awareness about this problem, and for one week during November, the whole world turned its eyes into this global health problem and the steps that can be taken to reduce the use of antibiotics.

Concerned about the problem, VikingGenetics wants to ensure that dairy farmers can reduce the usage of antibiotics in cattle breeding, and due to strict veterinarian regulation of the use of antibiotics in dairy herds in Scandinavia, we are able to breed for health. The focus on health within VikingGenetics has been natural for us the past 40 years – and as a result, we now see the Scandinavian countries are having the lowest use of antibiotics in Europe and in the world."

WHO key campaign facts: 

  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.
  • Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
  • A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.

To prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance, the agriculture sector can:

  • Only give antibiotics to animals under veterinary supervision.
  • Not use antibiotics for growth promotion or to prevent diseases.
  • Vaccinate animals to reduce the need for antibiotics and use alternatives to antibiotics when available.
  • Promote and apply good practices at all steps of production and processing of foods from animal and plant sources.
  • Improve biosecurity on farms and prevent infections through improved hygiene and animal welfare.

Read more about the WHO World Antibiotics Awareness Week on WHO website.