To provide an overview on the latest developments regarding antibiotic use in food animals and the on-going concern over antimicrobial resistance, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has launched a new dedicated website. It will focus on:

• Scientific expertise on antimicrobial resistance in the animal health sector.

• Information on veterinary drugs that are used in livestock.

• Updates on key events.

• OIE international recommendations and standards on antibiotics.

• Media reports and content.

The OIE considers that ensuring appropriate access to effective antimicrobial agents to treat animal diseases is vital but stresses the need to control it through veterinary intervention. “Many activities in favor of animal health depend on the availability and appropriate use of good quality, veterinary medicinal products, including antimicrobial agents,” agency officials say.

“OIE considers the prevention of antimicrobial resistance and the prudent use of antibiotics in animals as one of its key responsibilities and activities” says Bernard Vallat, OIE director general.

The science regarding the role that antibiotic use in livestock plays in the development of resistant pathogen strains remains unclear. Recently, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report concluding there is not sufficient data to prove a link between antibiotic use in food animals and resistant diseases in humans.

To view the new OIE antibiotic website, go to http://bit.ly/o34kOs.