Farmer Spotlight

What’s the Background?

Antibiotics have been used to treat and prevent disease or improve performance (promote growth) in animals for more than 50 years. FDA has a strict approval process for antibiotics that considers not only their safety and efficacy in animals but their potential to affect public health and the environment. Two concerns have been raised related to antibiotics use in livestock production: residues in meat and antibiotic resistance. With regard to the first, there are no harmful antibiotic residues in meat. When antibiotics are used, farmers follow withdrawal periods set by FDA before marketing their animals, and USDA tests for residues to confirm that meat is free of any harmful level of antibiotics…For more click here.

Why Does It Matter to Our Producers?

Availability of safe and effective animal health products is important to pork producers, who depend on these products to maintain healthy and productive animals, prevent animal suffering and ensure that consumers have access to safe and wholesome pork products. Producers recognize the importance of using antibiotics responsibly in animals and in humans to protect the health and well-being of both while striving to reduce the overall need for the use of antibiotics and maintain their efficacy for future generations.

What is NPPC’s Position?

NPPC supports phasing out the use in livestock of medically important antibiotics for the purposes of growth promotion. Therapeutic uses of those antibiotics – for disease prevention, control and treatment – are essential to producing safe food and must remain available. NPPC also supports veterinary oversight of antibiotics use and objective, scientifically rigorous studies and risk assessments to help farmers make informed decisions about use of antibiotics in food animals. Additionally, NPPC supports the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration collaborating with the agricultural industry to voluntarily collect information on how antibiotics are used in animals. Data should be representative of an industry, voluntarily collected in a way that ensures producer confidentiality, reported in aggregate to prevent an individual producer’s information from becoming public and allow for identification of trends in a range of reporting metrics within industries. Decisions to limit antibiotics use must be transparent and made based on scientific risk analyses.

Additional Resources