Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an important issue due to its adverse impacts on public health, animal health, animal welfare and production, and the economy.  Since 2001 there have been national and international efforts towards a ‘One Health’ approach to the management of AMR.

In 2015 the Australian Government released its first National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015-2019 (National Strategy) and in 2016 the corresponding implementation plan. These have called for a collaborative effort to change practices that have contributed to the development of AMR and to implement new initiatives to reduce AMR and inappropriate antimicrobial usage (AMU).

In comparison to other countries Australia holds a reputation for low use of antimicrobial agents and low frequency of AMR, meaning our animal industries have a strong foundation from which to address AMR.

We have strong legislation around antimicrobial registration and use with prescription by registered veterinarians only. Antimicrobials important for human health that are of significant concern overseas have either not been registered or banned for use in animals in Australia. Similarly, Australia has legislation banning the use of antimicrobials as growth promotants within our intensive livestock industries.

Australia has been proactive in the adoption of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) principles, and continuation of this momentum through collaborative efforts will be vital to maintaining and improving our positive status for AMS.

The following report provides an overview of historical and current practices relevant to AMS in each of the contributing industries and is primarily intended for the stakeholders who are interested to know how the livestock industries operate in Australia.

Additional resources