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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 03 June 2015

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Wednesday 3rd June 2015.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

MSD Animal Health

Novus International

What Won’t Change Under US Antimicrobials Revision?

Redrawing antibiotics usage regulations in US livestock centres on whether they are “human medically important” or not, explains an extension veterinarian.

For this reason, ionophore products like Rumensin and Bovatec will continue to be obtained by producers, according to Dr Lew Strickland, University of Tennessee, discussing the new Food and Drug Administration rules.

Using feed additive and growth promoter Bacitracin can continue unaffected, as can coccidiosis medications, he added.

Producers will still be able to obtain and use medications that are considered non "medically important" feed grade products.

Where change is coming, the onus is being placed on veterinarians to provide oversight in prescribing drugs for livestock also critically important for human health.

The selection of drugs is informed by the World Health Organisation list of critically important antimicrobials, first draw up in 2005 at a meeting in Canberra, Australia.

According to Dr Strickland, the drugs are: Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Cephalosporin, Florfenicol, Aureomycin, Aureo S 700 (CTC, Chlortetracycline) (also mixed in minerals), Terramycin (Oxytetracycline), Tylan (Tylosin) and Neomycin (Neomycin Sulfate).

The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) sets out to address routine use of human medically important antibiotics for production purposes and bring therapeutic usage under the oversight of licensed veterinarians.

"Production purposes" entails growth promotion or feed efficiency. 

As part of this, relationships between veterinarians and producers need to be official – valid client patient relationship (VCPR).

This requires close knowledge of the farm and personal contact, explained Dr Strickland – electronic or telephone communication is not sufficient.

He said: “The FDA is taking action to promote the judicious use of antimicrobial drugs in food animals. The goal of the strategy is: to phase out the use of medically important antibiotics in food animals for production purposes such as enhancing growth or improve feed efficiency and secondly to bring the therapeutic uses of such drugs to treat, control, or prevent specific diseases under the oversight of licensed veterinarians.”

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