Legislation Aimed at Antimicrobial Drug Use in Livestock Production

US - Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) last week introduced legislation aimed at gathering and analyzing further information on the amount of antimicrobial drugs used in livestock production.
calendar icon 4 March 2013
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The legislation entitled Delivering Antimicrobial Transparency in Animals states it "will help scientists and public health officials to better understand and interpret trends and variations in antimicrobial resistance," as well as identify interventions for preventing and controlling drug resistance.

The bill would require drug manufacturers to obtain and provide better information to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on how their antimicrobial drugs are used in each class of food animals. The legislation would require poultry, swine, and other livestock producers to submit detailed annual reports to FDA on the type and amount of antibiotics contained in the feed given to their animals.

In addition, the bill would mandate that FDA report breakdowns on the percentages of antimicrobials sold for growth promotion and feed efficiency, disease prevention, disease control, and disease treatment. Further, the agency would have to provide a breakdown on drugs sold or distributed in each state and the quantity of drugs sold for each class of animals. Currently, FDA only reports on the total number of kilograms sold for use in animals for several classes of antibiotics.

The Coalition for Animal Health, including the National Chicken Council, held an informational briefing for congressional staff on Thursday to explain the complexities related to producing a safe and wholesome food supply while protecting public health and preserving antibiotics for future generations, while stressing a science-based approach in examining the effects of antibiotics in agriculture.

Participants included Dr Rich Carnevale, VMD representing the Animal Health Institute, Dr Christine Hoang, DVM, MPH, CPH representing the American Veterinary Medical Association and Dr Scott Hurd, DVM, PhD from Iowa State University.

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