Antibiotic use in food animals: reducing the risk

Antibiotic use in food animals: reducing the risk

Over the years, antibiotics have saved countless animals. But use of human antibiotics in livestock has been thought by some to play a role in the rise of bacterial antibiotic resistance.

In early 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration enacted regulation to safeguard the efficacy of human-use antibiotics. Antibiotics medically important to people are no longer used as growth promoters in food animals. In addition, those antibiotics of human-use administered via feed to treat animals now require veterinary oversight.

By the end of 2017, sales of targeted antibiotics for use in livestock dropped by 33 percent and the amount of antibiotics sold for use as growth promoters fell from 13 million pounds to zero.

Veterinary care is not at risk. The risk to the rest of us is diminished by the combined efforts of federal agencies, medical professionals and animal industries.

Related Episodes