Antibiotics – An Important Tool In A Very Big Tool Box

USFRA’s Point of View

Antibiotics are one tool in farmers’ and ranchers’ overall animal care plan; which also includes proper housing, good nutrition and personal care and management. Farmers and ranchers who utilize antibiotics believe that not treating a sick animal with antibiotics that can cure an illness would be inhumane and could lead to the animal’s death.

Additionally, farmers, ranchers and veterinarians – along with medical doctors in human medicine – must work together to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics and minimize the potential for the creation of resistant bacteria.

Responsible use of antibiotics is important in all settings, including agriculture. Farmers, ranchers and veterinarians are legally and ethically obligated to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) requirements for the use of antibiotics on farms and ranches.

Wanda Patsche, a Minnesota farmer, says “many farmers, like myself, use antibiotics when our animals become sick – as it’s our responsibility to give them the care they need. Antibiotics help maintain animal health and thus, a safe food supply. Giving antibiotics are one tool farmers and ranchers use in an overall plan of good production practices to raise healthy animals for a safe food supply and – in my opinion, may be the only moral and ethical way to help our animals.”

Here we will explore specific topics relating to antibiotic usage on farms and ranches, including antibiotics resistance, antibiotic residues, healthcare collaboration and next steps for maintaining a healthy food supply.

Explore Antibiotic Topics

Antibiotics – additional resources