Newswise — Two Colorado State University veterinarians, Paul Morley and Josie Traub-Dargatz, are among eight nationwide who penned a policy paper giving guidance on use of antibiotics for livestock, and they can offer an inside line on the hot issue of antibiotics in livestock feed. It’s a topic of intense concern for human-health advocates worried that medicated livestock feed, through its effects on bacteria, produces antibiotic resistance among people who need medication to combat bacterial illness.
Antibiotics in livestock feed also is a significant issue for producers – including those in Colorado’s $3.7 million beef industry – who for decades have used medicated feed to promote growth and to prevent disease in poultry, hogs, sheep and cattle. The veterinarians, in a “consensus paper” that will be updated this year, provided core guidelines that were echoed in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration plan released last month. The plan called for conservative use of antibiotics in livestock feed and only when specifically prescribed by veterinarians. The plan’s release is widely considered a warning that the FDA will soon set and enforce regulations on the issue. Conservative use of drugs is a best practice in medicine, the CSU vets note. Even so, it would surprise many consumers to know that there is little evidence that antimicrobials used in livestock feed actually cause antibiotic resistance in people. Learn how it works and why it matters from Traub-Dargatz and Morley.
FDA and veterinary documents provided for reference: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm378193.htm