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Recommendations for prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines in aquaculture












​FAO. 2019. Aquaculture development. 8. Recommendations for prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines in aquaculture. FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. No. 5. Suppl. 8. Rome.



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    Improving biosecurity through prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines in aquatic food production 2012
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    The current trend towards increasing intensification and diversification of global aquaculture has lead to its dramatic growth, thus making aquaculture an important food-producing sector that provides an essential source of aquatic protein for a growing human population. For both developed and developing countries, the sector is recognized as creator of jobs and an important source of foreign export earnings. The expansion of commercial aquaculture, as is the case in commercial livestock and pou ltry production, has necessitated the routine use of veterinary medicines to prevent and treat disease outbreaks due to pathogens, assure healthy stocks and maximize production. The expanded and occasionally irresponsible global movements of live aquatic animals have been accompanied by the transboundary spread of a wide variety of pathogens that have sometimes caused serious damage to aquatic food productivity and resulted in serious pathogens becoming endemic in culture systems and the natura l aquatic environment. The use of appropriate antimicrobial treatments is one of the most effective management responses to emergencies associated with infectious disease epizootics. However, their inappropriate use can lead to problems related to increased frequency of bacterial resistance and the potential transfer of resistance genes in bacteria from the aquatic environment to other bacteria. Injudicious use of antimicrobials has also resulted in the occurrence of their residues in aquacultur e products, and as a consequence, bans by importing countries and associated economic impacts, including market loss have occurred. Since disease emergencies can happen even in well-managed aquaculture operations, careful planning on the use antimicrobials is essential in order to maximize their efficacy and minimize the selection pressure for increased frequencies of resistant variants. The prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines is an essential component of successful commercial aq uaculture production systems. The FAO/AAHRI Expert Workshop on Improving Biosecurity through Prudent and Responsible Use of Veterinary Medicines in Aquatic Food Production was convened in Bangkok, Thailand from 15 to 18 December 2009, in order to understand the current status of the use of antimicrobials in aquaculture and to discuss the concerns and impacts of their irresponsible use on human health, the aquatic environment and trade. Such discussions became the basis for drafting recommenda tions targeted to the state and private sectors and for developing guiding principles on the responsible use of antimicrobials in aquaculture that will be part of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries Technical Guidelines on Prudent and Responsible Use of Veterinary Medicines in Aquaculture. Since aquaculture is expected to continue to increase its contribution to the world¿s production of aquatic food, offer opportunities to alleviate poverty, increase employment and community de velopment and reduce overexploitation of natural aquatic resources, appropriate guidance to aquaculture stakeholders on the responsible use of veterinary medicines has become essential. Safe and effective veterinary medicines need to be available for efficient aquaculture production, and their use should be in line with established principles on prudent use to safeguard public and animal health. The use of such medicines should be part of national and on-farm biosecurity plans and in accordance with an overall national policy for sustainable aquaculture. This publication is presented in two parts: Part 1 contains 15 technical background papers presented during the expert workshop, contributed by 28 specialists and which served as a basis for the expert workshop deliberations; Part 2 contains the highlights of the expert workshop.
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    The need to address the risk of antimicrobial resistance ( to human and animal health has grown on the international political agenda in the last years In 2015 the World Health Assembly adopted an AMR global action plan advocating for a One Health approach and encouraging each country to adopt its own, targeted national strategy to deal with AMR’s negative impact on animal welfare and food security Maldives has followed through on the recommendation, developing the National Action Plan for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance 2017 2022 The strategy was informed by the country’s geographical context and structure of its public health, livestock and aquaculture sectors In the past, the lack of commercial livestock food production limited the need for and development of veterinary health systems Recently, the Government of Maldives has pushed for greater food self sufficiency and security, putting emphasis on farm diversification into poultry and goat farming, as well as aquaculture In collaboration with FAO, the Government identified the capacity needs of the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture MoFMRA to carry out AMR surveillance, infection prevention and control, prudent antimicrobial use, and research and innovation in the agriculture sector.
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    Taking a Multisectoral One Health Approach : A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries 2019
    The 2019 FAO-OIE-WHO (Tripartite) zoonoses guide, “Taking A Multisectoral, One Health Approach: A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries” (2019 TZG) is being jointly developed to provide member countries with practical guidance on OH approaches to build national mechanisms for multisectoral coordination, communication, and collaboration to address zoonotic disease threats at the animal-human-environment interface. The 2019 TZG updates and expands on the guidance in the one previous jointly-developed, zoonoses-specific guidance document: the 2008 Tripartite “Zoonotic Diseases: A Guide to Establishing Collaboration between Animal and Human Health Sectors at the Country Level”, developed in WHO South-East Asia Region and Western Pacific Region. The 2019 TZG supports building by countries of the resilience and capacity to address emerging and endemic zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, rabies, Ebola, and Rift Valley fever, as well as food-borne diseases and antimicrobial resistance, and to minimize their impacts on health, livelihoods, and economies. It additionally supports country efforts to implement WHO International Health Regulations (2005) and OIE international standards, to address gaps identified through external and internal health system evaluations, and to achieve targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2019 TZG provides relevant country ministries and agencies with lessons learned and good practices identified from country-level experiences in taking OH approaches for preparedness, prevention, detection and response to zoonotic disease threats, and provides guidance on multisectoral communication, coordination, and collaboration. It informs on regional and country-level OH activities and relevant unisectoral and multisectoral tools available for countries to use.

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