Wednesday, January 4, 2012

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AVMA: Restricting Antibiotic Use in Food Animals Poses Risk

Washington--The president of the American Veterinary Medical Association on Wednesday sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reiterating the risk of limiting antibiotic use in food-producing animals without careful consideration of the consequences for human and animal health. The letter was sent following remarks by Vilsack that some interpreted as a sign that USDA was moving to limit the use of antibiotics in food animals. The department later clarified that no change in policy had been made.

In the letter, AVMA President Dr. RenĂ© Carlson expressed the association’s appreciation that there had been no policy change and reiterated the important role antibiotics play in helping veterinarians protect animal and public health.

“The AVMA strongly supports the judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals,” Carlson said. “This includes the administration of antibiotics for treatment, control and prevention of animal diseases to promote food safety as well as assure the health and well-being of food-producing animals.”

Farm Bureau opposes the banning of feed additives and medications for use in livestock and poultry without adequate proof of danger.

AVMA news release

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