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October 12, 2015

Antibiotic use in livestock and expanded role of veterinarians focus of October workshop

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the Farm Foundation recently brought together the state’s livestock and poultry producers, their feed suppliers and veterinarians to discuss a changing landscape of antibiotic drug use in food animals. These changes are a result of a national effort to reduce antibiotic resistance, a top health concern facing our country.
New guidelines issued by the FDA – effective January 1, 2017 – require label changes allowing only therapeutic uses for some medically-important antimicrobial drugs, and call for increased veterinarian oversight for these drugs used in animal feed, which are currently sold over the counter with unrestricted access. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic-resistance-related infections kill 23,000 people and sicken millions each year.

Regional industry leaders were among the speakers at the workshop held at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. They included Chuck Ahlem of Hilmar Farms; Bill Mattos of the CA Poultry Federation; Dr. Stuart Hall of Feedlot Health Management Services; and Dr. Marit Arana of A.L. Gilbert Company. Dr. Craig Lewis of the U.S. FDA and Dr. Kathe Bjork of the USDA were also present to provide an overview of the complex public health issue of antibiotic resistance, the new guidelines and available to answer questions from the nearly 70 participants.
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