AVMA questions antibiotic ban in animals
Scientific data does not support a ban on the
preventative use of antibiotics in food animals, according to The American
Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Dr Lyle P. Vogel, AVMA assistant executive vice president said that
evidence suggests that when livestock are not given antimicrobials for
prevention of disease - as has happened in Denmark since the 1990s - an increase
in illnesses is likely to occur. In some instances, he added, antibiotic
resistance in humans is 10 times greater in Denmark than in the US despite the
"Risk assessments demonstrate a very low risk to human health from the use
of antimicrobials in food animals, and some models predict an increased human
health burden if the use is withdrawn," Vogel testified. "Non-risk-based bans of
approved uses of antimicrobials will negatively impact animal health and welfare
without predictably improving public health."
Vogel told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
that the Food & Drug Administration's evaluations of antibiotic use in
livestock are more stringent than for human antibiotics. FDA evaluates each food
animal antibiotic for human, environmental and animal safety, and additionally,
public and private surveillance systems monitor the use of the drugs for the
emergence of antibiotic resistance.
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