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Agricultural News

Vet Mike Apley Says Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture is a Matter of Judicious Use vs. Stewardship

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:10:59 CST

Vet Mike Apley Says Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture is a Matter of Judicious Use vs. Stewardship

In recent years, the threat of bacterial resistance to antibiotic treatments, has prompted concerns not only in the human health sector, but also over the use of antibiotics in livestock production as a contributor to the issue. Hence, the recent enforcement of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) that now governs antibiotic use in production agriculture. Kansas State University Veterinarian Mike Apley, is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the subject. He spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about his perspective on the issue.

“The question - is about stewardship vs. judicious use,” he asserted, explaining that the judicious use of antibiotics is when a veterinarian has diagnosed an infection and prescribes an effective dose of antibiotics for an animal for a specific duration of time. “We’ve made that decision, to use it for just as long as I need to and I’m only going to expose the animals that absolutely have to have it. Stewardship brings in the part of me doing everything I possibly can to avoid the need to use the antibiotic.”

In his work with peers and fellow scientists, Dr. Apley arrived at the point of view that stewardship should be practiced, in order to ensure the continued use of antibiotics be allowed and remain an effective treatment. This is a position he feels adamant about.

“On ag, we’re being asked about the nature of the production systems that have evolved to very, very efficiently produce food at a very low cost,” Apley said. “What it comes down to is, antibiotics are incredibly valuable in human and veterinary medicine. So, we better be paying attention to stewardship.”

Listen to Dr. Apley explain his position regarding the appropriate use and value of antibiotics in the livestock industry, to Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Listen to Apley explain his position regarding the appropriate use and value of antibiotics, click below.
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