National Pork Producers Council President Dr. Ron Prestage responded to Walmart's request for its meat suppliers to reduce antibiotic use:
The National Pork Producers Council applauds Walmart's commitment, announced today, to sustainable and responsible farming, which America's pork producers make every day. By using antibiotics responsibly and providing humane and compassionate care for their animals, pork producers ensure animal health and well-being and a safe, wholesome food supply. Walmart's recognition of that proves that America's farmers, not extreme animal activist groups, should be setting food policy.
The U.S. pork industry's long-standing training and certification programs have worked to ensure that farmers and veterinarians use antibiotics responsibly, protecting the efficacy and availability of antibiotics for therapeutic and disease prevention purposes for the health and safety of animals and the food supply.
The Judicious Use Guidelines of the American Veterinary Medical Association and of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Responsible Use of Antibiotics Guidelines in the pork industry's Pork Quality Assurance Plus program are closely aligned, and NPPC supports their incorporation into every farmer's daily practices. Additionally, the pork industry is adopting changes included in FDA Guidance 213, which is restricting the use in food animals of medically important antibiotics, as well as the agency's Veterinary Feed Directive. The industry also is working with USDA and FDA to best accomplish meaningful reporting of antibiotics use data.
America's hog farmers are committed to producing safe, affordable and healthful foods for consumers and using industry practices that have been designed with input from veterinarians and other animal-care experts to provide humane and compassionate care for their pigs at every stage of life.
Dr. Ron Prestage is a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C.