Thursday, December 11, 2008

Livestock Antibiotics

FDA retracts ban on poultry antibiotics
10 Dec 2008

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will continue to allow the widespread use of a class of powerful antibiotics in food-producing animals, including chickens and other poultry.

This come in a last-minute reversal since calling the practice a public-health risk in July.

This summer the agency's bid to ban many uses of cephalosporin drugs in cows, swine, chickens and other animals came under fire from the industry. Agriculture groups and animal-drug makers, including Pfizer Inc., said the antibiotics are needed to prevent many infectious diseases in animals.

Cephalosporins treat respiratory diseases in cattle and swine but are also often given "off-label" for uses not approved by the FDA to poultry or more generally in livestock for non-approved infectious diseases.

On 3 July, the FDA announced a planned crackdown on off-label uses in animals, citing "the importance of cephalosporin drugs for treating disease in humans". Five days before the ban was to take effect, on 25 November, the FDA quietly revoked it with a notice in the Federal Register.

The FDA's statement said the agency received many comments and needed more time to review them. Link

It is essential that farmers and ranchers are able to utilize antibiotics when necessary to take care of livestock. When you care about your livestock, you will always want to do whatever you can to maintain their good health. A healthy livestock population is required for a healthy human population.

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