Vets and doctors ask patients, are you antibiotic aware?

Antibiotics are vital medicines for both health sectors, yet inappropriate use such as not completing a course of antibiotics as prescribed or taking antibiotics for illnesses that don’t require them can contribute to the development of resistant bacteria in both humans and animals. The poster, designed for both people and their animals, asks “Are you antibiotic aware?” and aims to highlight how responsible use of antibiotics is necessary in both human and veterinary medicine to ensure the drugs’ continued effectiveness in treating illnesses.


British Veterinary Association President Gudrun Ravetz said:

“The UK veterinary profession is committed to the responsible use of antibiotics, and BVA supports all of the great work already being done by the profession to reduce the use of antibiotics across all species.


“However, reducing the use of antibiotics in animals is just one piece of the jigsaw when it comes to tackling AMR so we’re happy to be working with leading human medical organisations to ensure positive steps are taken across human and animal health to preserve these essential drugs for future generations.”


According to BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a top three concern for vets, with almost half (49%) of vets listing it as the most pressing animal health and welfare issue. Further BVA research shows that three out of five vets have seen clients who expect antibiotics to treat their pets and found there is still a lack of understanding about responsible antibiotic use with 70% of vets reporting poor owner compliance. BMA have also found nearly 6% of households have leftover antibiotics prescribed for humans, meaning patients had stopped their treatment early.


The four human and animal health organisations are encouraging vets and doctors to download a copy of the poster to display for patients in their waiting rooms. Download your copy (259 KB PDF).



Notes to editors

  • BVA is the national representative body for the veterinary profession in the UK. We represent the views of over 16,000 members on animal health and welfare, and veterinary policy issues to government, parliamentarians and key influencers in the UK and EU
  • The ‘One Health’ concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment:
  • The One Health poster “Are you antibiotic aware?” (259 KB PDF) has been developed in partnership between BVA, BMA, VMD and PHE
  • Statistics on top veterinary concerns for animal health and welfare from BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession Survey Spring 2016. This is a bi-annual survey of veterinary surgeons and veterinary students drawn from BVA members and carried out by the independent research company, Alpha Research ( ). The panel is representative of the BVA membership, which is largely in line with Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) membership. The Spring 2016 survey was completed by 1648 BVA members between 28 April and 23 May 2016.

Spring 2016 survey asked panel members

Thinking about animal health and welfare across the UK, what do you think are the three most pressing issues?

  • Antimicrobial resistance – 49%
  • Breeding/hereditary defects – 45%
  • Irresponsible animal ownership – 43%
  • Statistics on client expectation for vets to prescribe antibiotics and poor owner compliance from BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession Survey Autumn 2015 ( The Autumn 2015 survey was completed by 592 BVA members between 1 October and 25 October 2015.  For further information on this survey please contact
  • For more information, please contact the BVA media office on 020 7908 6340 or 07503 190 247 or via


Felicity Quick
Media Officer
British Veterinary Association
Direct line: 020 7908 6348
Media Team: 020 7908 6340 or     

(out of hours: 075 0319 0247)

7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ