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.
An example of these requirements are FDA Guidances 209, 213 and Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), which will take effect on January 1, 2017.
What do these directives mean?
- Antibiotics that are medically important (to human illness) will no longer be used for growth promotion in food animals.
- Antibiotics will only be available for therapeutic and prophylactic use – meaning to treat or prevent disease. Veterinarian oversight will also be required.
- Feed grade antibiotics and water medications will require veterinarian oversight —similar to a drug prescription.
To learn more about FDA directives 209 and 213, click here.
Here in the U.S., the animal agriculture community, the medical community and the federal government are going to great lengths to create additional safeguards against antibiotic resistance, including:
- Surveillance of antibiotics-resistant bacteria: increased federal funding to make antibiotic resistance a national priority.
- New tools: developing new, next-generation antibiotics, diagnostics and alternatives to traditional antibiotics.
- Responsible use in animal agriculture: eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics for growth-promotion purposes
- Responsible use in human medicine: reviewing existing responsible-use regulations in hospitals, outpatient settings, pharmacies and other environments using human antibiotics.
- Improve international collaboration: participating in global initiatives, such as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance.Improve international collaboration: participating in global initiatives, such as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance.
- Read more about these collective efforts here: National Action Plan for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (NARMS)