Antibiotic stewardship is an important pillar of the Beef Quality Assurance program, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons and Dr. Mike Apley, shared with attendees at the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, held Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Philip Ellis, NCBA President, said the forum was a great opportunity to highlight what the cattle industry is doing to support the judicious use antibiotics.
"NCBA takes our commitment for antimicrobial stewardship very seriously and seeks to educate our members, consumers, regulators, legislators and the general public on the merits of appropriate antimicrobial drug use within the diversified sectors of the beef industry," Ellis said.
A significant part of the Beef Quality Assurance program involves antimicrobial stewardship training on the appropriate use and administration of these technologies, a statement from NCBA said.
According to the group, BQA stresses the need for good stewardship, including: honoring withdrawal times, prevention of environmental contamination, the need for good record-keeping and a strong veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
"NCBA supports actions based on sound, peer-reviewed science and risk assessment relative to the use of antibiotics or other drugs," Ellis said. "We encourage the appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs through the guidance offered in the BQA program. Antimicrobial resistance is a complex and multi-faceted problem that is best addressed in a One Health approach that brings together stakeholders from human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental science."
Last year, NCBA organized research advisory groups composed of a wide range of researchers within the agricultural community to direct the planning for future antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance research activities.
In addition to the forum, the Administration also released the final rule for the FDA Veterinary Feed Directive, aiming to place antibiotic stewardship in the hands of veterinarians.
"While we will continue to review the final rule, NCBA supports the judicious use of antimicrobial technologies and sound peer-reviewed scientific principals as outlined in the BQA program," Ellis said.
"Our policy supports ensuring that producers have access to the technologies needed to maintain a safe and healthy herd, as herd health is critical to our top priority, ensuring a safe food supply. "
NCBA said it will continue to work with FDA and our membership to support the implementation of FDA Guidance 209/213 to bring the medically-important antibiotics used in feed and water under veterinary oversight and to eliminate the use of these drugs for feed efficiency and growth promotion by December 2016.