Antibiotics

What’s the Background?

For more than 50 years, antibiotics have been used by veterinarians and producers to address diseases and keep animals healthy and productive. Though pork producers rely on responsible, targeted use of antibiotics to keep their herds healthy, they are only one of a variety of tools used.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a strict approval process for antibiotics that considers not only their safety and efficacy in animals but also their potential to affect public health and the environment. The FDA recently issued Guidance for Industry #213, which eliminates for growth promotion purposes the use in livestock of antibiotics important to human medicine.

Why Does It Matter to Our Producers?

Pork producers depend on safe and effective animal health products to maintain healthy animals, to prevent suffering, and to ensure consumers have access to safe and wholesome pork products.

Pork 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. 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. Decisions to limit antibiotic use must be transparent and made based on scientific risk analyses.

Further Resources