New rules on the use of antibiotics in livestock take effect starting January 1, 2017. The Farm Foundation is working with the Animal Health Institute to help farmers prepare for the new rules that will change the way some antibiotics can be used in veterinary medicine.
Bill Flynn is the deputy director for science policy at the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine. He explains the changes that start next year.
“The primary focus is on changes related to medically important antibiotics that are used in either animal feed or animal drinking water and food producing animals,” he said. “There’s two key changes that we’re working to make. One is to eliminate the use of those particular antibiotics for production and/or growth promotion type purposes and to bring the remaining therapeutic uses, which would be preserved under this plan, under the oversight of a licensed veterinarian.”
He says the changes are needed to help slow the progression of antibiotics resistance.
“This is really part of a much broader effort to address public health concerns associated with emerging resistance among bacteria to antibiotics. One of the challenges with antibiotics is the fact that one of the consequences of use is that there’s a risk of bacteria that are exposed to antibiotics become resistant to the effect of those drugs, and gradually the drugs start to lose their effectiveness as these bacteria become resistant. Basically there’s an ongoing effort to do everything we can in these different sectors to make sure that we’re using antibiotics judiciously as a way to slow that progression.”
The new regulations involve antibiotics important to human medicine only, so products that are not used in human medicine will not be impacted by the change.
Flynn says the FDA believes the agriculture industry is prepared for January 1st, but for producers needing more information on how the changes will impact them, additional information can be found online here.
Source: NAFB news