On Dec. 11, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced important steps to ensure the judicious use of antibiotics in food animals as one approach to addressing antimicrobial resistance in human medicine.
In an effort to clarify what this ruling means to livestock producers and other industry professionals, members of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois offered a webinar on January 28, 2014 to address the new rules.
The discussion covered what the new steps mean to the livestock industry, what they don't mean, and how producers and others should respond. The webinar was presented by professor emeritus James Pettigrew, Extension swine veterinarian Larry Firkins, and professor Hans Stein.
"This announcement is not a surprise; it has been anticipated for several months," Pettigrew said.
Pettigrew explained that while the FDA's approach to antibiotic use in food animals had been published previously, the new documents issued this month describe the implementation of that approach.
"The documents address only those antibiotics considered important in human medicine, which are all of them except the widely-used ionophores and a few others," Pettigrew said. "The new rules apply only to antibiotics used in feed or drinking water."
The core of the FDA's approach includes:
- No use of these antibiotics for production purposes (to improve growth rate or feed efficiency).
- All uses of these antibiotics must be under veterinary oversight.
- Disease prevention is specifically recognized as an approved judicious use of antibiotics.
The slides from the webinar are available as a PDF download. The archived video of the webinar is also available below:
For additional information see:
- The document that describes the policy (GFI 209), published in April, 2012
- The document that describes the implementation (GFI 213), just published
- Description of changes in the Veterinary Feed Directive, just published
- List of affected products
- Questions & answers
Contact person: Dr. James E. Pettigrew, Professor Emeritus
Phone: (217) 244-6927