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Antibiotic Amnesty Campaign 2023

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest global health issues of our time. We must act, together.

After a successful campaign last year, the veterinary profession is coming together again this November to hold an Antibiotic Amnesty. Working together we will encourage clients to return any unused or out-of-date antibiotics to the practice.

What is the issue? 

Antibiotics are essential to treat many conditions in both humans and animals. But they must be used carefully, to ensure they are effective when patients really need them.

Clients will often have a stash of antibiotics at home, either from a previous pet or a current prescription that they didn’t finish giving. The temptation to self-treat their pet, or a neighbour’s pet, is higher if they are easily accessible.

Antibiotics disposed of inappropriately, such as in the water system or in the bins, can lead to environmental contamination, increasing the risk of resistant bacteria, damaging the environment and affecting local wildlife.

What can you do in your practice?

  • Talk about the Antibiotic Amnesty with your practice team and share the information in the resources available below.
  • Have conversations with clients about antimicrobial resistance and the risks of not using antimicrobials responsibly and encourage the return of any unused antibiotics. You can help support these conversations by:
    • Displaying the poster/s below in your waiting room.
    • Sharing the below resources on your practice social media channels and website.
    • Adding stickers/ notes to any prescriptions.
    • Including details of the amnesty in your practice newsletter.
    • Modifying vaccination reminders to mention this initiative. 
    • Contacting owners who have had antibiotics dispensed in recent months to tell them about the amnesty and prompt them to return any unused antibiotics – especially if they are due in again soon.
  • Using the hashtag for the campaign activity across your social channels #AntibioticAmnesty

After the Antibiotic Amnesty

  • Record the number of conversations had with clients about returning antibiotics – not only the number but also any useful feedback.
  • Record the number of antibiotics returned to your practice during November.
  • Feedback this number to the Amnesty partners via this link

Campaign Toolkit and Resources for practices

Resources for veterinary practices

These resources have been designed to help you hold your own Antibiotic Amnesty in your practice. If you have suggestions of materials that would be helpful to your practice, or if you have additional resources that would be suitable for this page, please get in touch with us via [email protected] 

Antibiotic Amnesty in the media

Information for clients

You can visit our AMR Hub where you will find freely accessible, evidence-based knowledge and resources, including communication and behaviour change skills, to help you establish responsible antimicrobial stewardship in practice. You can use these resources to continue the efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance after the Antibiotic Amnesty.

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