AVMA questions antibiotic ban in animals

02-07-2008 | |
AVMA questions antibiotic ban in animals

Scientific data do not support a ban on the preventative use of antibiotics in food animals, according to The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Dr. Lyle P. Vogel, AVMA assistant executive vice
president said that evidence suggests that when livestock are not given
antimicrobials for prevention of disease – as has happened in Denmark since the
1990s – an increase in illnesses is likely to occur. In some instances, he
added, antibiotic resistance in humans is 10 times greater in Denmark than in
the US despite the Danish ban.

“Risk assessments demonstrate a very low
risk to human health from the use of antimicrobials in food animals, and some
models predict an increased human health burden if the use is withdrawn,” Vogel
testified. “Non-risk-based bans of approved uses of antimicrobials will
negatively impact animal health and welfare without predictably improving public

Vogel told the Senate Committee on
Health, Education, Labor & Pensions that the Food & Drug
Administration’s evaluations of antibiotic use in livestock are more stringent
than for human antibiotics. FDA evaluates each food animal antibiotic for human,
environmental and animal safety, and additionally, public and private
surveillance systems monitor the use of the drugs for the emergence of
antibiotic resistance.

AVMA’s written testimony and information about
the issue will be posted on AVMA’s food safety advocacy website.


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