Your Questions Answered

Go Back

What antibiotics are used for farm animals?
August 14, 2017

What antibiotics are used for farm animals?

Some antibiotics are approved for use in animals, others in people, and still others in both animals and people (also called shared class antibiotics), but the majority of antibiotics used in animals are non-critical to human medicine.


3 reasons why antibiotics are given to farm animals
July 13, 2017

3 reasons why antibiotics are given to farm animals

Animal welfare, food safety and sustainability – there are good reasons animals raised for food are given antibiotics. Responsible use of antibiotics is the key, and procedures are in place to ensure there are no unsafe residues in meat, milk and eggs.


Clearing the confusion on ‘factory farms’
May 31, 2017

Clearing the confusion on ‘factory farms’

The term “factory farm” (I call it the “double F bomb”) has become a catch-all for everything that some people perceive as being wrong with modern agriculture. A recent New York Times op-ed contains much misinformation about today’s farming technology, the healthfulness of meat, and the environmental impact of producing food from animals.


When science and some consumers are on opposite sides of an issue
May 9, 2017

When science and some consumers are on opposite sides of an issue

There’s strong evidence antibiotics used in livestock and poultry are not driving antibiotic resistance in humans, that responsible use of antibiotics minimizes agriculture’s environmental impact, and unsafe antibiotic residue in food from animals is uncommon. While science is the foundation of those findings, and decision-making processes people use to form opinions are complex, it can be discouraging when groups or individuals choose to support science only when it agrees with issues upon which they’ve made up their minds.


FDA approves animal drugs, too; rigorous process followed
April 21, 2017

FDA approves animal drugs, too; rigorous process followed

The Food and Drug Administration not only has an intensive approval process for drugs for animals that’s similar to the approval human drugs undergo, but the FDA performs additional studies on drugs for food-producing animals not required for human drugs to be sure meat, milk and eggs are safe for us to consume, and that the drugs are safe for the environment. This process is intended to ensure public health.


Animal antibiotics conversation requires context
March 27, 2017

Animal antibiotics conversation requires context

Comparing animal and human antibiotic use is complicated. That’s why the proper context is so important.


New online resource does good job explaining the complex subject of antibiotic resistance
February 9, 2017

New online resource does good job explaining the complex subject of antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance, bacteria that evolve to the point they are not easily killed by antibiotics, is a scientifically complex subject and a concern for human and animal health. A new online resource does an excellent job explaining antibiotic resistance.


Preventing disease is a big part of a veterinarian’s ethical obligation
January 20, 2017

Preventing disease is a big part of a veterinarian’s ethical obligation

Animals raised for food live in herds or flocks, share water and feed troughs, and seek close contact with one another by licking, laying on each other and even rubbing snouts and noses. This can spread illnesses rapidly. Waiting for animals to show symptoms of an illness before beginning treatment is often too late. Swift action can prevent the spread of disease and result in animals receiving fewer antibiotics than they would have had they not received preventive medication.


New year brings changes: Farmers and veterinarians must work even closer together to use antibiotics responsibly
December 22, 2016

New year brings changes: Farmers and veterinarians must work even closer together to use antibiotics responsibly

New Food and Drug Administration guidance that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017, will end the use of antibiotics important to human medicine to promote growth in animals or to improve feed efficiency, and require veterinary oversight for the use of medically important antibiotics in animal agriculture.


Antibiotics are important to food safety, affordability
December 5, 2016

Antibiotics are important to food safety, affordability

As a veterinarian, I need to be able to answer questions about antibiotic use in farm animals in an informed and evidence-based way. Based on scientific research and practical experience, I’m completely comfortable telling people that using antibiotics responsibly makes meat, milk and eggs safer with the added benefit of lower food costs.


Antibiotics webinar looks at human and agricultural antibiotic use
October 21, 2016

Antibiotics webinar looks at human and agricultural antibiotic use

As revealed in the webinar, Dr. Steve Solomon and I share some of the same concerns and priorities, including most importantly that antibiotics must be used responsibly in both human and animal medicine. We covered the changes underway in how antibiotics are being used on farms, the risks, as well as “superbug” concerns and the broader global picture with regard to antibiotic resistance.


Balancing Concerns
October 7, 2016

Balancing Concerns

As a veterinarian, it is my duty to weigh the decision on whether to use antibiotics on the farm in order to balance both public health and animal needs. I took an oath to prevent and treat animal suffering as well as promote public health and protect animal health. It’s a real balancing act some days, but when an animal is sick with a bacterial infection, treating it with antibiotics is the right thing to do.


Can UN action on antibiotics create a more productive public dialogue?
September 26, 2016

Can UN action on antibiotics create a more productive public dialogue?

The U.N. General Assembly passed a declaration aiming to slow down the spread of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. The U.S. is well underway in following the U.N.’s directive. Animal health companies are eliminating the use of antibiotics important to human medicine for the purpose of promoting growth in animals. In many cases, these antibiotics will only be available under a Veterinary Feed Directive starting the first of the year.