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Animal Health Stakeholders Discuss FDA Policy

Washington, D.C.  – Yesterday, representatives from the Animal Health Institute (AHI), National Pork Producers Council, and the American Veterinary Medical Association hosted a media call to discuss the Food and Drug Administration’s publication of the final Guidance 213 and proposed Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD).

These documents implement FDA’s policy of promoting judicious use of antibiotics by phasing out growth promotion claims on medically important antibiotics and phasing in veterinary oversight.

“It is important for consumers to know that within three years, all uses of medically important antibiotics in animal agriculture will be only for therapeutic, or targeted, purposes under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian,” said Dr. Rich Carnevale, Vice President of Regulatory, Scientific, and International Affairs at AHI. “We feel there has been some confusion from consumers on how these antibiotics are used, and this Guidance will help clarify how these medicines benefit animal and human health.”

The industry has long supported the responsible use of antibiotic medicines and the involvement of a veterinarian whenever antibiotics are administered to food producing animals.

“This action is going to mean real change for how antibiotics are used on farms and how veterinarians are involved,” said National Pork Producers’ Dr. Liz Wagstrom, herself a veterinarian. “Using antibiotics responsibly is both an ethical responsibility and part of our commitment to public and animal health.”

“As the veterinary feed directive will serve as the primary vehicle by which veterinary oversight of antimicrobials in feed will be implemented, the AVMA is a strong supporter of FDA’s effort.  Our association has been happy to engage in dialogue with the FDA regarding these new rules,” said Dr. Christine Hoang, Assistant Director of the Division of Scientific Activities at the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The responsible use of antibiotics to keep food animals healthy carries a public health benefit. Healthy animals are the first link in the food safety chain.  Other links in this chain include the reduction of pathogenic bacteria at critical steps in processing and good food hygiene through the safe handling and cooking of meat and poultry.

Q&A: Final Guidance 213 and VFD

MEDIA CONTACT:  Ron Phillips, RPhillips@AHI.org

The Animal Health Institute represents companies with an interest in veterinary health. Its member companies develop and produce the medicines that help our pets live longer, healthier lives and contribute to safe food by keeping food animals healthy.

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