Chief Veterinarian Addresses Joint Public Meeting Regarding Antimicrobial Data Collection

Antibiotics Use Livestock ResistanceWASHINGTON – Yesterday, Kathy Simmons, DVM, Chief Veterinarian, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, delivered comments before a joint public meeting of the Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and Center for Disease Control addressing antimicrobial use and resistance data collection.

“NCBA believes that a clear strategy for data collection, analysis and reporting must first be established before moving forward with the data collection process in order to provide information that correctly represents actual antimicrobial drug use in food-producing animals,” said Dr. Simmons, adding that antimicrobial use data collection needs to be revised. “We agree that the antimicrobial drug sales and distribution data currently collected by FDA under ADUFA does not equate to antimicrobial drug use in food-producing animals. We are appreciative of the desire of the agencies to obtain broad stakeholder involvement and collaboration in the process to seek the best possible options available for collecting and analyzing on-farm antimicrobial drug use information.”

NCBA has a long history supporting antimicrobial stewardship that directs responsible antibiotic use in all sectors of the beef cattle industry. This commitment dates back to the first release of the Beef Producer Guidelines for Judicious Use of Antimicrobials in 1987, which is still utilized in an updated form by producers today.

“We do not believe that the reduction in the volume of antimicrobial drugs used in food-producing animals should be used as the sole measurement for the success of a judicious antimicrobial drug use strategy,” said Simmons. Instead, “there must be a way to link antimicrobial drug use metrics with the reason for drug use and animal population parameters rather than simply reporting aggregate quantities for which the only goal is reduction.”

Additionally, Simmons cautioned FDA on privacy concerns, stating that ensuring the anonymity of participants and safeguarding the information gathered in the system is of utmost importance to cattle producers.

As the conversation continues in Washington D.C., NCBA will remain engaged. Cattlemen and women appreciate the efforts of FDA to help bring more transparency and increased granularity to the antibiotic sales data for food-producing animals as well as the collaborative approach FDA is taking between industry users, federal agencies, and animal health companies.

–NCBA Press Release

Cattlemen Highlight BQA at White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship

Antibiotics Use Livestock ResistanceWASHINGTON  – Yesterday, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association participated in the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship in Washington D.C. Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Kathy Simmons and Dr. Mike Apley, a cattle producer and veterinarian from Kansas attended and participated in the meeting on behalf of NCBA. NCBA President and Chugwater, Wyoming, cattleman Philip Ellis said this was a great opportunity to highlight what the cattle industry is doing to support the judicious use of these technologies.

“NCBA takes our commitment for antimicrobial stewardship very seriously and seeks to educate our members, consumers, regulators, legislators and the general public on the merits of appropriate antimicrobial drug use within the diversified sectors of the beef industry,” said Ellis. “The NCBA Cattle Health and Well-being Committee works to educate members at conferences and conventions on the latest information regarding antimicrobial drug use and the complex problem of increasing numbers of antibiotic resistant bacteria in both human and veterinary medicine.”

A significant part of the Beef Quality Assurance program involves antimicrobial stewardship training on the appropriate use and administration of these technologies. BQA stresses the need for good stewardship, including: honoring withdrawal times, prevention of environmental contamination, the need for good record-keeping and a strong veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

“NCBA supports actions based on sound, peer-reviewed science and risk assessment relative to the use of antibiotics or other drugs,” said Ellis. “We encourage the appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs through the guidance offered in the BQA program. Antimicrobial resistance is a complex and multi-faceted problem that is best addressed in a One Health approach that brings together stakeholders from human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental science.”

While NCBA has been focused on stewardship for decades, last year NCBA organized research advisory groups composed of a wide range of researchers within the agricultural community to direct the planning for future antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance research activities. The Administration also released the final rule for the Veterinary Feed Directive, aiming to place antibiotic stewardship in the hands of veterinarians.

“While we will continue to review the final rule, NCBA supports the judicious use of antimicrobial technologies and sound peer-reviewed scientific principals as outlined in the BQA program,” said Ellis. “Our policy supports ensuring that producers have access to the technologies needed to maintain a safe and healthy herd, as herd health is critical to our top priority, ensuring a safe food supply. NCBA will continue to work with FDA and our membership to support the implementation of FDA Guidance 209/213 to bring the medically-important antibiotics used in feed and water under veterinary oversight and to eliminate the use of these drugs for feed efficiency and growth promotion by December 2016.”

Press Release, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Elanco Announces Comprehensive Antibiotic Stewardship Plan, Significant Research Effort

Antibiotics Use Livestock ResistanceThe 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

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

Jeff Simmons Elanco Animal HealthGREENFIELD, 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Help customers eliminate continuous use of shared-class antibiotics for therapy purposes by providing an alternative.
  4. Eliminate over-the-counter sales of shared-class antibiotics globally – including injectable products – where veterinarian oversight exists.
  5. Eliminate concurrent use of shared-class antibiotics to treat the same disease.
  6. Support veterinary oversight and responsible use, including helping build infrastructure globally.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

Veterinary Feed Directives and Natural Resources Legislation| Podcast

Antibiotics Use Livestock ResistanceOne of the bigger topics last week’s Montana Nutrition Conference was a discussion with Dr. Bruce Hoffman of Elanco Animal Health and Dr. Marty Zaluski, Montana State Veterinarian. These two had a great question and answer session regarding changes with Veterinary Feed Directives and our ability to continue using feed grade antibiotics in the livestock industry.

Montana Stockgrowers has been working with Dr. Hoffman and we’ll be providing you plenty of information about these changes and the relationships ranchers will need to build between their veterinarians and feed dealers with the implementation of these new regulations.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Hoffman for a lengthy discussion regarding these VFDs. He explained the changes in requirements in more detail and what we need to know before the new rules are in place by the end of 2016. Key points in the changes coming with Veterinary Feed Directives include the importance of involving veterinarians and nutritionists in our management decisions, abiding by label uses for antibiotics, and ensuring customers that we’re being good stewards of our resources in these conversations about antibiotics use in livestock.

On today’s podcast we’ll have a portion of that conversation, as well as some information about what Elanco is doing to bring greater awareness to the importance of protein in providing healthy food for the hungry amongst a rapidly growing global population through their Feed The Nine Campaign. Follow #FeedThe9 on Twitter or go to for more information.

But first, Ryan Goodman will catch up with MSGA Director of Natural Resources, Jay Bodner, for a quick review of a few bills during the Montana Legislative Session that affect wildlife management and landowner property rights here in Montana.

Cattle Health and FDA rule changes for antibiotics labeling | Podcast

MSGA 2nd Vice President, Bryan Mussard, helped attendees learn more about the services MSGA offers Affiliate members across the state.

MSGA 2nd Vice President, Bryan Mussard, helped attendees learn more about the services MSGA offers Affiliate members across the state.

On today’s podcast, we’ll follow up on discussions held during the recent summer cattle industry conference held in Denver Colorado. In this section we’ll focus on several issues related to cattle health.

The Cattle Health and Well-Being committee passed policy regarding foreign animal diseases, which could cause a widespread quarantine and possible massive depopulation of the U.S. cattle herd. A resolution was passed to oppose the importation of live cattle, beef, and/or beef products into the U.S. from foreign countries with histories of significant chronic animal diseases and lack of strict animal disease control and eradication measures.

This committee also focused on discussion and explanation of changes in FDA rules regarding feed through antibiotics use in livestock production. This would include label changes on antibiotics, feed additives and veterinary feed directives, which would make access to these medications more difficult for ranchers. MSGA’s 2nd Vice President, Bryan Mussard from Dillon attended the meeting and has more comments in the podcast below.

Conference attendees also had the opportunity to receive an update from CattleFax senior market analyst, Kevin Good, which described the industry as transitioning from a liquidation to an expansion phase. Good said the industry is accelerating the rate of expansion, and “it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the trend.” However, while the fundamentals are “friendly,” he said, “the market will have a correction.” And that correction could be soon. “Something needs to give,” he said. “You have to be prepared for that ceiling.”

Bryan also provides us with a great take-home message coming out of the meetings in Denver which should serve as an encouragement for Montana ranchers working with MSGA. Find out more about these topics in the podcast below, and be sure to listen to parts 1 and 2 shared in posts earlier in the week.