Tag Archives: antibiotic use in animals

Reviewing the Topic Of Antibiotics…

I have received many requests for information over the past week relative to antibiotic use in cattle feed yards.  Instead of reinventing the wheel, I am going to share the links to a series of blog posts that I wrote a few years ago, as well as an updated post from the fall of 2013.  For those of you with questions regarding this topic, hopefully reading these posts will help you out.

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I am also including a short update on my favorite 10 year old whose struggle with pneumonia instigated the antibiotic posts three years ago.

Really, one could argue that I am taking the opportunity to brag about my awesome daughter who (over the past three and half years) over came a series of complications from a nasty illness event with a maturity and tenacity that makes this Mama proud.

She is a rock star runner and swimmer, and maintains a daily fitness level that would leave most people exhausted.  Yesterday, during her mile swimming workout she completed her first 50 meter freestyle swim without breathing (that’s two laps of a 25 meter pool with a flip turn and no oxygen intake) — using those lungs that she has worked so very hard to strengthen. Perhaps what makes me most proud is that this journey is one that we have taken together: allowing me to serve as both her coach and training partner 🙂

You can read here how she is living proof that  “drugs can be traded for fitness” with the right work ethic and a little bit of faith…

Below is the antibiotic series.  I have written a brief explanation of each post immediately following the underlined link.

If you are still interested in more of the day to day workings of a feed yard relative to antibiotic use and cattle health, then I encourage you to click on either the category labeled Animal Welfare or Antibiotics, Hormones and other Growth Promotants that are listed on the right side of the home page.  Those categories will take you to other posts written on this issue. Or, you can visit Facts About Beef and read their post Antibiotics 101.

calendar raceAs both a mom and a cattle caregiver, I do my best to be a responsible user of antibiotics.  I know how very important they are, and I strive to get better with each day that passes.  Appropriate antibiotic use is a journey that we all travel together — One that must be based on a dedication to continuous improvement.

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Antibiotics…

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We shared a love and respect for animals and the outdoors…

My family traveled to Florida last week to celebrate my dad’s life at a beautiful Memorial Service.  As I stood in the airport waiting to board the first plane of the journey, I fielded a phone call from a Wall Street Journal reporter.

The FDA had announced earlier that morning that it intended to issue Guidance Document 213 to the Federal Registrar.  This action renewed media interest in the topic of antibiotic use in food animals.  Guidance 213 and its accompanying Feed Veterinary Directive implement the FDA’s policy of judicious antimicrobial use in food producing animals by two mechanisms:

  1. An extension of veterinary oversight in the care of food animals.
  2. The elimination of the sub-therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in food animals.DSC04922

Guidance 213 establishes a three-year timeframe for accomplishing these two important goals.  In a nutshell, it creates a documented paper trail for veterinary oversight of all antibiotics (eliminating all Over The Counter usage) while at the same time completely phasing out the use of antibiotics that are important to human medicine for growth promotion purposes.

The first question that the reporter asked me was,

“Anne, how will Guidance 213 affect your farm?”

The short answer to this question is “not much”.  I followed this up with a more detailed response… Because, as my girls are quick to remind me, I enjoy pontificating on topics that I am passionate about!

Administering a prescription antibiotic to a sick calf...

Administering a prescription antibiotic to a sick calf…

  1.  My veterinarian plays a key role in every animal health issue that I have at the feed yard.  He is on site at least once a month and we remain in contact via telephone or email in between those visits.  There is already close veterinarian oversight on my farm.  As such, the only change that Guidance 213 brings to me is that my vet will have additional paperwork to fill out certifying this oversight.
  2. I do not use medically important antibiotics for growth promotion purposes.  I only use those antibiotics for the control/treatment/prevention of disease; therefore, there will be no changes relative to mechanism #2.

    Giving vaccinations to newly arrived animals which keep them healthy and reduces the amount  of antibiotics that I use on my farm...

    Giving vaccinations to newly arrived animals which keep them healthy and reduces the amount of antibiotics that I use on my farm…

Those of you that have followed Feed Yard Foodie for a long time will perhaps remember a detailed series of FYF posts relative to antibiotic use.  I wrote this series when my youngest daughter was hospitalized with a virulent strain of pneumonia two years ago.  This issue is one that is near and dear to my heart.

Keeping all of them healthy is my daily focus...

Keeping all of them healthy is my daily focus…

I invite all of you to reread these posts, and ask any questions that you might have relative to the issue.

https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/the-responsible-user-of-antibiotics/

https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-conversationalist-take-2-bovine-respiratory-antibiotic-use-relative-to-human-antibiotic-resistance/

https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/the-misunderstood/

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Filed under Antibiotics, hormones, and other growth promotants..., General