Changes In Livestock Antibiotic Use
The use of antibiotics in cattle and livestock production has been an issue of late and many producers are trying to figure out what will happen if they have to change how they’ve been doing things for years. Dr. Keith Belk, Professor, Center for Meat Safety & Quality at CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences discusses the issue.
BELK: As you know there’s a lot of pressure globally on several sectors of society to reduce the risk of conferring resistance and populations of microorganisms and of course one of those is in agriculture and primarily in livestock production. What is happening right now is FDA has electively agreed with all of the major pharmaceutical companies that beginning this year they will begin to voluntarily withdraw subtherapeutic use of antimicrobials.
Then there will be another big change come December of next year.
BELK: All of the antimicrobials used in livestock production, and I think it entails all of them with perhaps only one or two minor exceptions, it will require a script or prescription from a veterinarian that’s in a veterinarian/patient client relationship to obtain those antimicrobials. And when you talk to veterinarians that work in this area they’re very concerned that that is going to overwhelm them.
Belk says it’s important the industry doesn’t make adjustment based solely on opinions and rhetoric.
BELK: I think it’s in the industries best interest to begin to address this problem proactively and to their credit, they have in all species.I think that there’s going to be some give and take on this
And that’s Colorado Ag Today. I’m Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.