New Website Highlights Changing Antibiotic Policies

Lizzy SchultzAg Group, Animal Health, Antibiotics, FDA, Health, Pharmaceutical, Policy, Veterinary

what-is-new-in-agriculture-in-2017-2-max800A new educational website has been launched by several animal agriculture groups that highlights the ways that U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Guidance for Industry #213 will change the way livestock producers may use antibiotics to treat their animals and discusses the practices used by livestock producers and animal health professionals to ensure that antibiotics are being used judiciously on the farm.

The website, TogetherABX, was launched as a joint effort between several animal agriculture groups, including the Animal Health Institute, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the Animal Agriculture Alliance. The site provides information that details the FDA’s new policy, as well as the ways it will change the way antibiotics are used to keep food animals healthy.

When Guidance 213 goes into effect January 1, 2017, it will prohibit the use of antibiotics considered medically important to humans for animal growth purposes and will require the supervision of a veterinary medical doctor whenever medically important antibiotics are used to fight disease in animals.

“This policy ensures that the antibiotics classes we need as humans are only administered to food animals when medically necessary to fight disease,” said Alexander S. Mathews, President and CEO of the Animal Health Institute. “Most importantly, the policy protects animal health and well-being while providing consumers with the safest food possible.”

The website will also highlight the ways that farmers, veterinarians and pharmaceutical companies worked in collaboration with the FDA on the development and implementation of the guidelines with a goal of maximizing both animal health and consumer safety, and will discuss the guidelines for judicious antibiotic use required in animal production practices.

“A licensed veterinarian on a farm is to animals what a physician is to humans,” said Dr. Richard Carnevale, vice president of regulatory, scientific and international affairs at the Animal Health Institute. “Veterinarians provide a critical service by keeping farm animals healthy, thereby safeguarding human health. As a veterinarian, I hope the togetherABX effort will result in greater public understand of the role of veterinarians.”