National Western Stock Show to feature antimicrobial stewardship workshop

Stewardship of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food animals is the subject of a workshop to be offered Saturday, Jan. 16, as part of the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, CO. This free workshop will be 9 a.m. to noon at the Beef Palace Arena on the NWSS grounds.

A collaboration of Farm Foundation, NFP and the Livestock Division of the NWSS, the workshop will focus on two Guidance for Industry (GFIs) issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, as well as the FDA's revised Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). These actions mean some drugs will see label changes allowing only therapeutic uses, and some drugs will require veterinary oversight in the form of a veterinarian's prescription, direct administration by a veterinarian or a veterinary consultation on disease management protocols.

Officials from FDA and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will participate in the workshop to discuss specific elements of the policies. An update will also be provided on USDA's Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan. A major portion of the workshop is designated for participants to identify and give feedback to federal officials on the management challenges ahead.

The workshop is targeted to livestock producers, including youth raising and showing cattle, as well as veterinarians, feed suppliers and educators. Kevin Ochsner of the Adayana Agribusiness Group will lead the workshop.

This workshop will be webcast live by BARN Media, as well as archived for later viewing. To access the webcast go to:

Between August and October 2015, Farm Foundation conducted 12 regional workshops on this topic across the country. These were opportunities for producers, veterinarians and feed suppliers to gain information on the new policies, and for FDA and APHIS to gain feedback on the management challenges involved in implementing the policies. NWSS provided facilities for a Sept. 28 workshop, and invited Farm Foundation to present another workshop as part of the 2016 Stock Show.

Many producers and businesses across the entire food and agricultural value chain have already taken action to reduce the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food animal production. FDA's GFI 209 and GFI 213 call on animal drug

sponsors of approved medically-important antimicrobials administered through medicated feed or water to remove production uses (i.e., to promote growth or improve feed efficiency) from their product labels, and bring the remaining

therapeutic uses of these products-to treat, control, or prevent disease-under the oversight of a veterinarian by the end of December 2016. Manufacturers of products containing these medically-important antimicrobial drugs have voluntarily agreed to submit changes to their product labels to comply with the GFIs. FDA also revised the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) to facilitate the increased veterinary oversight of medicated feeds called for by GFI 209 and 213.

Successful adaptation to the policy changes is critical to public and animal health, ensuring consumer confidence in food safety and the future viability of animal agriculture in the United States. "The success of achieving this goal--for both public health and the economic health of animal agriculture--hinges on producers having access to the information they need to adjust production practices, feed retailers and distributors understanding their changing responsibilities, and the capacity of veterinarians to provide the additional oversight needed," says Farm Foundation President Neil Conklin.

A national summit,

Antibiotic Stewardship: Policies, Education and Economics, will take place Jan. 20-21, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. This summit is a collaboration of Farm Foundation, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and USDA's Economic Research Service. This will also be an opportunity for farmers, ranchers, feed suppliers, veterinarians, academics and government agency staff to advance the conversation on the industry's adaptation to the changing landscape of antimicrobial drug use.