NIAA and Antibiotics Stewardship

NIAA and Antibiotics Stewardship

Posted: Updated:

October 10, 2019

Antibiotics, when used properly, keep humans and animals healthy. The National Institute for Animal Agriculture shows us how the nation's pig farmers practice good stewardship.

Farmers and ranchers spend each day giving their animals proper nutrition, shelter and care. But when animals get sick, they call the veterinarian.

Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian with the National Pork Producers Council, says veterinarians care for animals in the same way that doctors care for patients. Sometimes they must rely on antibiotics to relieve suffering.

According to Wagstrom, “We have veterinarians having the responsibility to write an order or a prescription when medically important antibiotics are used by farmers. The veterinarian has that judgement to say an animal is sick; they need to have antibiotics.”

Wagstrom states that “A lot of the human resistance problems that are seen in hospitals, especially, probably are unrelated to agriculture. It's everybody's shared responsibility – whether it's a medical doctor and their patients or whether it's a veterinarian and producers – to do everything we can to minimize the development of resistance or the spread of resistance.”

She continues, “I think there's some misunderstandings about the role that agriculture may play in the bigger picture of antibiotic resistance. But whether that role is small or big, we need to do everything we can to take care of our responsibility in our part we can play.”

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture will host their 9th annual Antibiotic Symposium, October 15th through the 17th at Iowa State University in Ames.

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