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APRUMA: Introduction to Antimicrobials

Good health is essential for welfare and for optimal animal performance. Disease control is therefore an essential part of any successful management program. In turn, safe food is produced by healthy animals. Disease control is part of high quality food production.

Antimicrobial medicines are valuable tools and are essential for the continuing health and welfare of animals. In addition, they also make a significant contribution to productive and efficient livestock farming.

The animal health industry continues to offer the veterinary profession and the livestock industry a wide range of antimicrobial products with which to treat infectious bacterial diseases, and which contribute to animal welfare by preventing or alleviating pain and discomfort.

The nature of antimicrobial medicines is that antimicrobial resistance may occur, and so reduce the efficacy of the product. This underlines the necessity to use antimicrobial products with care.

The administration of antibacterial compounds should be complementary to good farm-management practice and properly designed vaccination programs. Many disease conditions can be avoided or minimized by using management practices that significantly reduce exposure to disease-causing bacteria, optimizing the environment for the animal, including good hygiene, nutrition and vaccination programs.