BSAVA and SAMSoc launch antibiotics awareness campaign

6 November 2018

Published 6th November 2018

The BSAVA and the Small Animal Medicine Society (SAMSoc) has launched a proactive campaign to mark Antibiotic Awareness Week from 12-18 November.

For the first time, vets can issue a ‘non-prescription form’ containing a ‘no antibiotics required’ message to inform owners when antibiotics are inappropriate. An adaptable PROTECT ME poster encourages practices to outline their antibiotic stewardship policy, and includes QR codes that link to supporting evidence that is freely available in the online BSAVA Library.

Amid increasingly severe warnings on the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), it is disconcerting that more than 30 per cent of antibacterial prescriptions by doctors are deemed unnecessary.1

Fergus Allerton, chairman of SAMSoc and editor of the PROTECT ME initiative said: “Antibacterial use, both appropriate and inappropriate, imposes a powerful selection pressure on bacteria and is the primary driver of antibacterial resistance. Eliminating unnecessary use in people and animals is essential to safeguard this invaluable resource. These initiatives are aimed at encouraging responsible antibacterial stewardship while optimising patient outcome.”

Ian Ramsey, BSAVA Junior Vice President and part of the editorial team of the PROTECT ME initiative, said: “The production of ‘non-prescription’ pads will help practitioners reduce the pressure to close consultations by administering unnecessary medications. The second edition of the PROTECT ME poster builds on the success of the first by providing updated recommendations and better links to more information.

“BSAVA feels it is right for us to spearhead this important work with SAMSoc by providing members and colleagues with the best tools to do their jobs. By working together our profession can achieve a big reduction in the rates of antibacterial resistance.”

The poster acronym ‘protect me’ stands for:

P rescribe only when necessary
educe prophylaxis
ffer other options
reat effectively
mploy narrow spectrum
ulture appropriately
ailor your practice policy
ducate others

View the pad

More information is available in the November edition of BSAVA’s Companion magazine and in the BSAVA Library.



  1. Fleming-Dutra KE, Hersh AL, Shapiro DJ et al. (2016) Prevalence of Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescriptions Among US Ambulatory Care Visits, 2010–2011. JAMA 315(17),1864–1873