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Beef Buzz News


Industry Pulls Together to Define Antimicrobial Stewardship, Ensure Essential Drugs Remain Available

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:12:29 CDT

Industry Pulls Together to Define Antimicrobial Stewardship, Ensure Essential Drugs Remain Available In an effort to more closely monitor the use of antimicrobial drugs in production agriculture, especially in feed, the Food & Drug Administration initiated last year the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). According to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons, antimicrobial stewardship has become a major issue in both animal and human medicine. She told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently that all parties concerned are working together to define exactly what good stewardship look like.


“We in the beef cattle industry feel like we have been involved in antimicrobial stewardship for over thirty years,” she said. “For over fifty years, we’ve used antimicrobial drugs, and for over thirty of those fifty years, we’ve had responsible stewardship guidelines. So, like the agency, we are also concerned with antimicrobial stewardship.”


Simmons says NCBA’s guidelines have been a part of the industry’s Beef Quality Assurance program for some time, as part of the program’s curriculum to help educate producers on the appropriate and responsible care of their livestock. As the industry continues to work towards improving its own methods and goal of more judicious use of antibiotics, Simmons says the important thing moving forward is not to totally eliminate antimicrobial drugs - which she insists are still absolutely necessary to maintaining healthy livestock populations. But, says that case of necessity should be emphasized.


“I think a really important concept in use there, is something we can continue to stress with FDA in which they continue to back us up on and that is the need to have the medically important antimicrobial drugs available for both prevention, control and treatment of animal diseases,” she said. “We feel that prevention and control are major aspects of the therapeutic process that help to ensure a safe food supply and to enhance public health.”


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.




   




   

Hear Hays and Dr. Kathy Simmons discuss the importance of the VFD and antimicrobial stewardship
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