The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is glad the FDA isn’t completely banning the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials in cattle and other livestock species – but the group remains concerned with regulatory actions that aren’t based on peer-reviewed science or that set the precedent to take animal care and health decisions out of the hands of veterinarians. NCBA Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee Chairman Tom Talbot says raising healthy cattle is the top priority for cattle farmers and ranchers. He notes they work with veterinarians and animal health experts to implement comprehensive herd-health plans that include the judicious use of antibiotics to prevent, control and treat any cattle health issues.
The FDA announced Wednesday that it intends to publish its Final Guidance 209 in the Federal Register tomorrow (Friday). Talbot says NCBA raised concern with FDA’s Guidance 209 back in 2010 because the agency lacked the necessary science in its recommendations. He says the multifaceted, complex issue of antimicrobial resistance can’t be adequately addressed by solely focusing on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture. According to Talbot – NCBA remains committed that a strong science foundation is critical before moving forward with this guidance.