Farmscape for June 29, 2018
The Chief Veterinarian with the National Pork Producer's Council says fears over the potential negative impact on animal welfare resulting from changes to U.S. regulations pertaining to antibiotic use in livestock appear to have been unwarranted.
Effective January 1, 2017 labels approving the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion were discontinued in the U.S. for food animals and the remaining therapeutic uses for disease treatment, control and prevention came under veterinary oversight.
Dr. Liz Wagstrom, the Chief Veterinarian with the National Pork Producer's Council, says even before the changes took effect we saw significant declines in the volumes of antibiotics being used.
Clip- Dr. Liz Wagstrom-National Pork Producer's Council:
One of the things we had been very concerned about was would there be animal health impacts, anything negative either from things like growth promotion uses actually preventing some disease or just not access to veterinarians be able to get needed antibiotics and so far we're not hearing anything.
I think one of the things FDA did that was very wise was that they grouped disease treatment, control and prevention as being essential for animal health so a veterinarian can write an order based on a specific known disease risk for a drug to focus on that or to prevent that.
Obviously having veterinarians in the loop to have to write a VFDs also helped those veterinarian be in the loop to say do we need to adjust anything else in our herd health program whether it's pig flow or hygiene or vaccines or what ever.
I think over all this has been a pretty positive experience.
It's added some costs to the system but having that increased veterinary oversight I think has the opportunity to provide rewards as well.
Dr. Wagstrom says producers and veterinarians worked closely with the Food and Drug Administration as the rules were written and an effort was made to determine what would work for practicing veterinarians and the feed mills so everyone was very well prepared.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork