The biggest change Kentucky livestock producers will face is having their veterinarian oversee their use of some antibiotics.

“Based on the available scientific evidence, the FDA believes the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs should involve the scientific and clinical training of a licensed veterinarian,” Arnold said. “Veterinarians are uniquely qualified to determine which specific disease-causing organisms are likely to be present and to determine appropriately timed administration of medication relative to the disease.”

Medications included in the call for veterinary oversight are listed at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AnimalVeterinary/GuidanceComplianceEnforcement/GuidanceforIndustry/UCM052519.pdf. “Developing strategies for reducing antimicrobial resistance is critically important for protecting both public and animal health,” Arnold said.

“Collaboration among the public, public health, animal health and animal agriculture communities is needed to assure that public health is protected while also assuring that such strategies are economically feasible to the producer and that the health needs of animals are addressed.”

Arnold emphasized the importance of remembering the benefits of using antibiotics in food animal production and the adverse effects that would result from their removal.

“Although the convenience of buying feed-grade antimicrobials at a local farm supply will be changed by adoption of these guidelines, it is important that correct and medically sound advice accompany these purchases,” she said.

“Unfortunately, not all employees of stores that sell health supplies (including online pharmacies) are adequately trained to give correct advice and may be unfamiliar with the potential harm if label directions are not carefully followed.”