New FDA Rules Change Access to Antibiotics for Beef ProducersTue, 17 Mar 2015 12:35:08 CDT
National Cattlemen's Beef Association Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons says new rules for antibiotic use by cattle producers are in the process of being finalized. NCBA is waiting for a final rule on changes made to the Veterinary Feed Directive. Simmons said these changes should increase flexibility and ease of use. The final rule should come out spring 2015. She said NCBA will continue to work to educate producers on this new method of accessibility. The final implementation date has been set for December 12, 2016.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Dr. Simmons. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
Part of the agreement is that pharmaceutical manufactures and feed companies will change their product labels and the livestock industry to phase out the use of certain antibiotics. This includes antibiotics added to animal feed or drinking water. Simmons said these changes aim to make medically important antibiotics unavailable to producers for growth promotion uses or what they feel are unnecessary use. These label changes will make this a legal and binding use of these antibiotics. Simmons said after the implementation date, these products will only be available under veterinary oversight.
Antibiotic use has become a hot issue at all levels. Simmons said in the recent PCAST report, which is the President's Council of Advisors for Science and Technology, they addressed antibiotic resistance and this Feed Directive. The group addressed concerns for the FDA guidance. She said some groups though this change was voluntary and it had no teeth and they wanted to make sure that was not the case. Simmons said these label changes will become legal use changes and it was reiterated in the report the importance of using these medications under the oversight of a veterinarian for treatment, prevention and control.
With these changes, Simmons said it will be a educational process for producers as there will be a new method of access for these medications. It will also be a educational process for veterinarians in the beef industry who have not haven't had much experience with veterinary feed directives. The American Veterinary Medical Association has already held a summit on how this will change the role of the veterinarian. Simmons said AVMA also brought questions and concerns forward to FDA on the implementation of these changes. In the future FDA will also be holding a series of public meetings. Simmons said as a cattlemen's association NCBA will present information on this topic at every opportunity they have to make sure cattlemen are informed on these changes.
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