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.
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.
The United Nations 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, essentially a prescription from a veterinarian, starting the first of the year.