Antibiotic Resistance – Facing the Problem and Finding a Solution

Antibiotic resistance is a very real problem around the globe and U.S. farmers and ranchers are committed to being an integral part of the solution while implementing best practices on their farms and ranches.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria or other microbes to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply causing more harm.

Farmers and ranchers use antibiotics responsibly to minimize the potential risk of development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are harmful to humans. That’s why they work closely with their veterinarians and under the guidelines of the FDA in the best interests of animal welfare and public health.

An example of these guidelines are FDA Guidances 209, 213 and Veterinarian Feed Directive (VFD), which will take effect on January 1, 2017. To learn more about FDA directives 209 and 213, click here.

Dr. Leah Dorman, a veterinarian, says, “There’s growing consumer concern and rising pressure on the food system regarding the use of antibiotics in food animals. Animal antibiotics must be used wisely to minimize agriculture’s contribution to antibiotic resistance, an issue farms and food companies take seriously. It’s important to remember that preventing disease and treating sick animals through the responsible use of antibiotics is the ethical thing to do.”