Antibiotic Stewardship Supports Animal Health and Safe Food

With growing concerns about antibiotic resistance, people ask how antibiotic use in animals could affect their health and the health of their families. While many understand that these medicines are needed to protect animal health and produce safe food, some ask how farmers can ensure antibiotics are used responsibly to minimize the selection for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and to protect these valuable medications for both human and animal health.

This is an important conversation and one the U.S. pork industry has been engaged in for many years. The industry is committed to helping consumers understand how and why antibiotics are used to keep our food safe and animals healthy through continuous improvement of best practices on the farm. Antibiotic resistance is a critical issue that everyone must address together through a science-based approach.

Antibiotics are essential for healthy livestock and safe food.

Antibiotics are critical to treat and prevent disease – in humans and animals. Without the responsible and timely use of antibiotics, sickness can spread rapidly on a farm, endangering the health of animals and the safety of our food.

Our view is simple: Produce healthy livestock, produce safe food. When you go into a grocery store or restaurant, you should not have to worry about the safety of the food you are buying for your family.

With a focus on continuous improvement, real change is occurring on farms across the U.S.

The pork industry is committed to ensuring responsible antibiotic use in animals to protect the efficacy of antibiotics for humans and animals. The industry tests and implements alternative ways to keep pork safe and healthy. Antibiotics are just one of the many approaches in a comprehensive strategy to keep animals healthy and produce safe food.

The National Pork Board has adopted a new three-point antibiotic stewardship plan that is proactive, collaborative and aggressive in its strategy and scope. Using education, research and communication tactics, the plan will ultimately work for the betterment of people, pigs and the planet.

FDA and USDA play important roles to ensure responsible antibiotic use in animals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of medically important antibiotics in pigs for treatment, control and prevention of disease. New regulations – FDA Guidance 209 and 213 – will be fully enacted January 1, 2017. Pig farmers embrace and support the new guidelines.

To learn more about the pork industry’s commitment to antibiotic stewardship download the Antibiotic Stewardship Supports Animal Health and Safe Food pdf.


Additional Resources
Pork Checkoff’s Antibiotic Resource Center
National Pork Board Antibiotic Policy
National Pork Producers Council