Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobials

The use of antimicrobials in food animals has recently become the focus of the Food and Drug Administration, as well as a good portion of the public. To address some of their concerns about potential spread of antibiotic resistance in humans, the FDA has determined that increased veterinary oversight of the use of medically important antimicrobials is necessary. The agency plans on issuing a final guidance document related to the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals sometime early this year. 

When the agency released an early version of this proposed policy – Draft Guidance for Industry #209 – last year, we offered our input and anticipated that we would have more to say in the future. As members of the AVMA Executive Board deliberated what role the association should play in helping the FDA address these concerns, we elected to form the AVMA Steering Committee for FDA Policy on Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobials

Now we are looking to select members for this steering committee, and we’re asking our members to provide us their expertise. We’re looking for active AVMA members who have familiarity with the practical aspects of the field use of antimicrobials in food-animal production. We’re also seeking the balanced perspectives and views of those involved in both public health and animal agriculture. We expect this committee to be engaged in discussions with the FDA to help them develop a framework for greater veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use. 

We want to be at the forefront of this issue and actively participate in these discussions regarding the use of antimicrobials in food animals and the availability of these drugs. We want to get in from the ground up, as opposed to having to try to influence changes after the fact. We expect the steering committee members to be appointed by the Executive Board chair this spring. Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 15, so if you have an interest in this critically important issue, please consider filing your application today.

5 thoughts on “Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobials

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  2. the public is being exposed to a great deal of misinformation on this subject. the species of animals involved in using antibiotics for growth promotion need to be stated. poultry need to be concidered as animals just like cattle and pigs. the use of antibiotics in feed to control specific diseases needs to be separated (eg. rinitus and mycoplasma in pigs)from actual use of antibiotics for growth promotion. the bigger threat of antibiotic resistance developing due to human medical practices needs to be addressed also. treating immunologicaly comprimised people in a hospital and/or nursing home is more dangerous than treating animals with healthy immune systems even if the antibiotic is in the feed and fed for a couple of months. the sale of antibiotics over the counter for human use happens in many countries. this also needs to be addressed. is the feeding of antibiotics that are no longer in common use for human medicine a threat to humans?

  3. I am in agreemnet with the FDA. We need to stop using so much antibiotic in food animal production. There is no need to use antibiotic for growth promotion or to supposedly control disease in high density food animal production. Those are all bandade methods of disease control. What needs to happen is to change the way we raise food animals so that these antibiotics are not necessary. It is proven that this works as that is how organic farmers raise their animals. We are posioning our earth, ourselves, and our children by continuing on the path that is current. Things need to change and antibiotic resistance is a symptom of the sickness of the way we farm. Watch the documentary film “FOOD INC” and think real hard what we are doing to the earth , the farmer, the animals,and ourselves if we continue as is.

  4. I have been hearing about antibiotics in animals causing resistance in bacteria in humans for my entire veternary life, 35 years.As far as I can tell nobody has determined yea or nay as yet. I do know that we need to keep finding new abics because the old stuff just doesn’t work like it used to. So, yes antibiotic resistance occurs. It’s a given. Deal with it and quit wasting money fussing about it.