Restrictions on antimicrobial use in food animal production: A cross-country regulatory and economic survey
The administration of antimicrobial drugs to food animals at low doses and for long durations to promote animal growth and prevent diseases associated with the industrial model of food animal production contributes to the global health challenge of antimicrobial resistance. Some governments have responded by restricting antimicrobial use for these purposes, and by requiring a veterinary prescription to use these drugs in food animals. It has been argued in the United States that restrictions elsewhere have been detrimental to food animal production where they have been adopted. To evaluate this argument, we surveyed the antimicrobial use policies of 17 jurisdictions outside the U.S. with respect to growth promotion, disease prevention, and veterinary oversight, and reviewed the available evidence regarding their production impacts, including measures of animal health. Jurisdictions were included if they were a top-five importer of a major U.S. terrestrial food animal product in 2011, as discordance among the policies of the U.S. and other jurisdictions may increase the risk of trade barriers to U.S. food animal exports. Jurisdictions were also included if information on their policies was publicly available in English. We searched the peer-reviewed and grey literatures and corresponded with jurisdictions' embassies, regulators, and local experts. Jurisdictions were ranked by whether they prohibit use of antimicrobials for growth promotion and/or use of antimicrobials without a veterinary prescription. Data on the production impacts of these prohibitions were limited, although available data, especially from Denmark and Sweden, suggest that restrictions on growth promotion use can be implemented with minimal production consequences. The public health consequences of antimicrobial use in food animal production for growth promotion and disease prevention indicate that restrictions in the U.S. are needed. Available data suggest that these restrictions may not be detrimental to U.S. producers in the long run, although additional research could be useful.
Environmental health sciences
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Compare international policies on antimicrobial use in food animal production with respect to growth promotion, disease prevention, and veterinary oversight. Evaluate the impacts of these policies on food animal production in those jurisdictions. Discuss the implications of these policies and their impacts for U.S. policies regarding antimicrobial use in food animal production.
Keyword(s): Antibiotic Resistance, Policy/Policy Development
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Senior Research and Policy Associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, I lead CLF's work on the use of antimicrobial drugs in food animal production, researching U.S. and international antimicrobial use policies, translating CLF research for policymakers, and consulting with nongovernmental organizations on scientific and policy questions. My research addresses the public health impacts of food-animal drugs, including antimicrobial resistance, chemical residues in food animal products, and other concerns.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.