COLUMBIA — To MU veterinarian John Middleton, the most significant impact of new government rules that govern the use of certain antibiotics on livestock will be increased accountability for farmers and veterinarians.
Under the new rules, livestock caretakers "have to think about what they're doing with the drugs," Middleton said, especially when the drugs are being used in ways not prescribed on the label. "It makes people pay attention."
An order issued by the Food and Drug Administration in early January limits certain uses of antibiotics known as cephalosporins in livestock. The order will go into effect April 5, following a 60-day comment period. The same antibiotics are used on people, and the tighter controls are designed to help guard against bacterial resistance in humans as well as livestock.
Use of the antibiotics for most disease prevention is now prohibited for the producers of cattle, swine, turkey and chicken. Producers are no longer allowed to use the antibiotics in ways not stated on the label except when veterinarians prescribe specific uses.Doctors write more than 50 million prescriptions for cephalosporin antibiotics each year, according to the FDA. The antibiotics are commonly used to treat pneumonia, strep throat and skin and urinary infections in humans. The antibiotics are also prescribed by pediatricians to treat infections in children. READ MORE "No wonder the FDA wants to marginalize colloidal silver."