FDA Phase Out of Antibiotics

(Eric) Highlight now from the 2014 Beef Stocker Conference at Kansas State University. It’s a topic that’s been very much in the news for a couple of years now at least and it remains a high profile matter for anybody in the beef cattle industry, the eventual fate of antibiotic use in cattle health management. Regulations appear to be tightening soon. With a full update on that, an individual who’s been right in the thick of discussions about that, K-State veterinarian, Mike Apley. Mike, there’s a hard date we can talk about now in terms of how these new regs are going to effect the beef cattle industry. (Mike) Now, December of 2016 is the date that the revised labels will probably be coming into effect. It will probably be phased in during that month and what that change will be is that any medically important antibiotic that’s used in food animals cannot be used for growth promotion. And it’s very important that everyone realizes right off, that doesn’t include the ionophores or the bambermycins. So, rumensin, bovatec, gainpro those are not involved in that. The other change involved with that is the remaining uses for prevention or control of disease or therapy of disease that go into feed will require a veterinary feed directive after that time and then any water use will require a prescription. (Eric) That veterinary feed directive, how it will be managed, the practicality and how that will function, that’s the big question right now. (Mike) There’s lots of people wondering about that. And we had some great questions and comments in here just in the session we had. Someone who runs a licensed feed mill made a comment and a producer asked, “Well how are we…who’s paying for this?” And the veterinarians are wondering the same thing because it’s gonna require more effort on the part of producers. It’s gonna require the veterinarian to take time to write those and by law the veterinarian is gonna be required to have a knowledge of that producer’s operation to write that. (Eric) As you look at contemporary management of growing cattle now, how will this step in the process if there are more steps to come, we’ll talk about that in a moment, but how will this step affect the day to day health management of the stocker operator or the feedlot operator. (Mike) I think one of the things that resonated with the stockers was the use of tetracyclines in the feeds. So if they are using the gram per hundred pounds of either core tetracycline or oxytetracycline, the only way they’re going to be able to acquire that and legally use it is with the veterinary feed directive. So they can’t just go in and request it and get it. Any water use, prescription now. So the big changes are gonna be for that for a cattle feeder that uses thylacine, that’s gonna have to be authorized by the veterinarian for that use and it’s strictly by the label, but they’re gonna have to authorize that. And then if there is a veterinary feed directive drug that’s used concurrently with one that’s not a BFD drug, the BFD still has to authorize both of them. (Eric) K-State veterinarian Mike Apley, once again the future use of antibiotics in the beef cattle industry.

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