Antibiotic Resistance and ‘Superbugs’ … How Safe is Your Pet?

dog antibiotic resistanceIn mid-July, a U.S. congressional subcommittee held a hearing titled "Antibiotic Resistance and the Use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture."

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman of California opened the hearing with the following statement:

"As we will hear today, animals raised for food production are routinely provided antibiotics to prevent infections.

In stark contrast to animals, we would be shocked if a pediatrician ever ordered antibiotics for an entire nursery school class to keep the children from being infected with strep throat. But in this country, that is standard practice for a barnyard full of pigs, or cows, or chickens."

This hearing came on the heels of a proposal by the FDA on June 28 in favor of phasing out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in cattle.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is opposed to broad antibiotic bans like those proposed in H.R. 1549 and S. 619, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). Rather, the AVMA encourages "a regulatory strategy that is based on science, risk-and-benefit analysis, risk management that is commensurate with the level of risk, and cooperation with all relevant stakeholders," according to Dr. Christine Hoang.

AVMA scientific experts are concerned legislation like PAMTA would have adverse effects on animal and public health.