Beef Buzz News
Sticking to the Facts - Using Injectable Antibiotics After VFD
Wed, 10 Aug 2016 12:42:05 CDT
Chief Veterinarian for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dr. Kathy Simmons, believes that all drugs used for health and production in animal agricultural should be used responsibly to ensure the quality and safety of the product for consumers. But she also believes that there is a discernable difference between certain antibiotics in use that do not play a role in the current challenge of affecting antibiotic resistance in human medicine being worked on in the industry now. She says the difference lies between antimicrobial and medically important antibiotics, referring specifically to a class called ionophores.
Listen to Dr. Kathy Simmons on the responsible use of antibiotics in animal agriculture
“I think as far as our concern for the impacts on use in human medicine and the availability of antibiotics that will combat some of these more resistant bacteria,” Simmons said, “the ionophores are not players in that picture.”
This class of drug she says offers a wide range of benefits to animal health that plays no part in the human resistance picture including rumen health and decreased methane production. She says the functions of these drugs are essential to maintaining healthy and good quality beef.
Being an injectable, Dr. Simmons says these drugs will not require a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) order, come January 1, 2017. She explained injectable medicines, such as penicillinases and some of the oxytetracyclines, will still be available either over the counter or by prescription. She clarified that only antibiotics mixed in feeds or dissolved in water will fall under VFD regulations, pointing out these account for the largest percentage of use.
She suggested that the judicious guidance for the use of drugs in animal production is to make sure they are being used appropriately; not for growth promotion, but for disease prevention and control.
“I think by doing that we can increase the responsible use of these products,” Simmons said, “and we can continue to progress in our antibiotic stewardship and preserve the function of these drugs.”
Listen to Dr. Kathy Simmons go more in depth on the responsible use of antibiotics in animal agriculture on today’s Beef Buzz.
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