Issues and Advocacy

Animal Antibiotics

Keeping animals healthy is a top priority for farmers and veterinarians; healthy animals mean a safe and wholesome food supply and in turn, healthy people. Veterinarians and farmers work together to create flock and herd health management programs to prevent diseases before they develop and spread. These programs are tailored to individual farms and their livestock and poultry, taking into account how and when to vaccinate for species-specific diseases and how to administer parasite controls. To prevent and manage infectious diseases, it is sometimes necessary for veterinarians and farmers to turn to antibiotics. Research has shown the proper use of antibiotics can keep food animals healthy and reduce the potential for harmful bacterial contamination of finished meat products.

Animal production practices include guidelines to ensure that animal antibiotics are used in a manner that minimizes the development of antibiotic resistance in human health. Under new FDA guidance, medically important antibiotics will be labeled for use in food animals only to treat, control and prevent disease and illness and will be used exclusively under the supervision and prescription of a licensed veterinarian.

For more information about animal antibiotic use and regulations, visit