What’s being done about antibiotic resistance?
If you’ve been paying attention to the growing public discourse on antibiotics in livestock production you might well ask what can be done and what is being done about growing drug resistance. After all, even while consumer concerns tend to focus on the potential for antibiotics to enter the food supply, folks working in livestock and poultry production know that the threat of antibiotic resistance is really about growing risks for difficult or impossible-to-treat microbial disease. Moreover, producers know that this is a threat to the veterinary care their animals need as much as to human health. So again, what is being done to address resistance in livestock production?
Well, of course, the answer to that is A LOT. But the problem of antibiotic resistance is caused by a varied, complex web of interactions between natural variations in microbial populations and human’s imperfect means of controlling harmful pathogens. So unsurprisingly the variety of efforts that will be required to curb growing resistance is also varied and interconnected, it’s a thousand different, small things rather than one solution. Some of those small things are already being done by food producers every day: infection prevention and nutrition to maintain herd health, regulations for withdrawal times and control antibiotic use, food processing standards to reduce microbial loads in retail food products, etc. But more work is always needed. The following videos highlight just a few of the myriad efforts underway to fight antibiotic resistance in livestock production.
Improving antibiotic stewardship efforts by dairy veterinarians.
Understanding producer and consumer knowledge and perceptions about resistance and antibiotic risks.
Public outreach and education on antibiotic resistance, and what we can all do about it.
Authors and Sponsors
Find out more about the iAMResponsible project here. Funding for the iAMResponsbile Project was provided by USDA-NIFA Award Nos. 2017-68003-26497, 2018-68003-27467, 2018-68003-27545, and 2022-68015-36717. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.