Responsible Antibiotic Use on Dairy Farms

Are you ready for a pop quiz?

Off the top of your head, how would you answer the following questions:

    • How often do dairy cattle receive antibiotics in dairy farms in the US?
      • a) Daily
      • b) As needed and advised by a veterinarian
    • Are there more antibiotics in milk from cows raised without antibiotics or cows raised on conventional farms?
      • a) Conventional farms
      • b) Neither, all milk is tested and removed from the food supply if it contains antibiotics, no matter the source.

If you answered “A” to either of those questions I am sorry to say that you are incorrect. Many people think that on dairy farms, antibiotics are not regulated, and therefore they are overused. Actually, quite the opposite is true. Antibiotics use is limited to sick and at-risk animals. To clarify, these and other misconceptions, and explain key concepts of veterinary use of antibiotics in dairy farms, check out the video series below. These three short videos aim to clarify the crucial role of veterinaries in keeping animals healthy while assuring food safety and product quality and learn about how veterinarians have transitioned from a responsive style to a preventive style of medicine. This also shows how veterinarians work to prevent diseases from happening not only for animal welfare but because by doing so, milk production is maintained, even increased, and antibiotic use is decreased. Antibiotics are a powerful tool that are needed when disease occurs. But farmers know that veterinarians are the experts that know the proper conditions on how and when to use them.

Ensuring Food Safety Through Responsible Antibiotic Use

Keeping Cows Healthy for Responsible Antibiotic Use

Working Together for Responsible Antibiotic Use

Authors and Sponsors

Written by Andrew Ortiz, graduate research assistant, University of Nebraska.

Find out more about the iAMResponsible project hereFunding 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.