I am deeply troubled by the increasing call to eliminate the use of antibiotics to prevent disease in animals. As a veterinarian focused on the health of animals, I can say without question that if we lose the ability to use antibiotics for prevention purposes, more animals will die.
The use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is an important factor in providing the safe, affordable food we need and want. At the same time, antibiotic resistance is a complex and serious issue. That’s why farmers, veterinarians and regulators, principally the Food and Drug Administration, collaborated to address antibiotic resistance, changing the way animal agriculture operates today.
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.