The use of antibiotics in raising livestock has been a concerned raised by many consumers in recent months as a result of rising occurrence of antibiotic resistance bacteria. Many companies, food processors and retailers have made announcements in recent months regarding changes to their practices in an effort to curb the use of antibiotics in livestock. Most of these announcements pertain to the use of antibiotics that are medically important for human use.
As we have discussed in earlier podcasts with Dr. Bruce Hoffman of Elanco, changes are coming to the way livestock producers are allowed to use feed-grade antibiotics and changes in FDA guidelines will end the use of antibiotics for growth-promotion. This will be a topic in our Cattle Health Committee meeting on Thursday during our MidYear meeting. Listen to our previous podcast for more information.
Montana Stockgrowers has been working with Elanco Animal Health to share information for veterinarians and cattle ranchers in preparation for these changes in antibiotic use. Today, Elanco announced initiatives to further curb the use of antibiotics that are medically important for human use, and to identify alternative products to treat illnesses in livestock. Below is a press release with more information.
To learn more about Elanco and their programs to address concerns of growing global food demand, visit SensibleTable.com
Elanco President Jeff Simmons participates in White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship; outlines company’s aggressive eight-step plan to help safeguard animal and human health and deliver 10 new alternatives to the most challenging diseases
GREENFIELD, Ind., June 2, 2015 – Today, Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), will participate in the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship where Elanco President Jeff Simmons will participate in a panel discussion. Concurrently, Simmons is unveiling the company’s multi-faceted approach to combat the growing concern about antibiotic resistance. A summary of Simmons’ remarks follows:
In the next few decades, demand for animal protein will climb 60 percent(1) as population increases and the global middle class expands by three billion people(2). These numbers are important, because we’re already overusing the Earth’s resources, consuming about 1.5 times the natural resources we should use in a year(3). Delivering safe, sufficient, affordable protein to feed the growing population has never been at greater risk.
The welfare of animals we rely upon to provide protein is also at risk. Today, we have emerging diseases on every continent, including the extreme of avian influenza right here in the United States. Beyond that – nearly 3 in 4 cattle experience symptoms of respiratory disease(4) at some point in their life and 1 in 6 dairy cattle experience mastitis(5) in their productive life. It is our industry’s responsibility to keep animals healthy and treat the ones that get sick while safeguarding antibiotics for future generations through responsible use. Ultimately, this is about One Health – not just animal health, but this work creates healthy food, ensures the health of people and protects the planet.
Elanco has committed to an eight-step antibiotic stewardship plan that ensures the responsible use of antibiotics, reduces shared-class antibiotic use and replaces antibiotics with alternatives.
Elanco’s Eight-Step Antibiotic Stewardship Plan
- Act with responsibility globally – not just according to U.S. regulation – by working with food producers and retailers to provide training and encourage policies that reduce shared-class antibiotic use and increase veterinarian oversight.
- Cease marketing of growth promotion uses for shared-class antibiotics and complete full regulatory change to end growth promotion use of shared-class antibiotics globally by the end of 2016.
- Help customers eliminate continuous use of shared-class antibiotics for therapy purposes by providing an alternative.
- Eliminate over-the-counter sales of shared-class antibiotics globally – including injectable products – where veterinarian oversight exists.
- Eliminate concurrent use of shared-class antibiotics to treat the same disease.
- Support veterinary oversight and responsible use, including helping build infrastructure globally.
- Develop new animal-only antibiotics. No animal should ever be treated with a shared-class antibiotic if an animal-only option exists. Animal-only antibiotics optimize animal welfare without compromising human use antibiotics.
- Create alternatives. Elanco commits to invest two-thirds of our food animal research budget to quickly evaluate 25 candidates and deliver 10 viable non-antibiotic development projects that address diseases where there are few, or no, alternatives to shared-class antibiotics. (Respiratory disease and enteric disease in cattle, swine and poultry and mastitis in cattle.)
In one year, Elanco will host an animal health accountability summit to provide a progress report on our effort to deliver non-antibiotic alternatives. Along the way, we will collaborate with customers, academics and appropriate regulatory authorities, which will include establishing an expert advisory panel. Finally, Elanco will collaborate with our industry association and other technology companies to advance this effort as quickly as possible.
It is important that we don’t enact regulations or policies that move faster than available science, which could jeopardize animal health as well as food safety and food security. Setting timelines without solutions could be dangerous, compromising animal welfare. Policies that require complete elimination of all antibiotics in animal production aren’t right for the animal and they aren’t right for the consumer either. We must take a pragmatic approach that doesn’t put animals at risk.
This is a challenging endeavor not without risk, but with intentional focus, dedicated investment and collaboration from an event like today, we believe we can make a difference, shaping a positive future with better health outcomes for people and animals.
1 Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). “World Livestock 2011: Livestock in Food Security.” Rome, 2011
2 Kharas, Homi. “The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries.” Global Development Outlook. OECD Development Center. Working Paper No. 285. January 2010
3 World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “Living Planet Report 2012: Biodiversity, biocapacity and better choices.”
4 Wittum, T. E., N. E. Woolen, L. J. Perino, and E. T. Littledike 1996. “Relationships among treatment for respiratory tract disease, pulmonary lesions evident at slaughter and rate of weight gain in feedlot cattle.” J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 209:814–818.8756886
5 Ruegg, Pamela L.” New Perspectives in Udder Health Management.” Vet Clin Food Anim 28 (2012) 149–163