The production of safe and wholesome animal products for human consumption is a primary goal of members of the AABP. In reaching that goal, the AABP is committed to the practice of preventive immune system management through the use of vaccines, parasiticides, stress reduction and proper nutritional management. The AABP recognizes that proper and timely management practices can reduce the incidence of disease and therefore reduce the need for antimicrobials; however, antimicrobials remain a necessary tool to manage infectious disease in beef and dairy herds. In order to reduce animal pain and suffering, to protect the economic livelihood of beef and dairy producers, to ensure the continued production of foods of animal origin, and to minimize the shedding of zoonotic bacteria into the environment and potentially the food chain, prudent use of antimicrobials is encouraged. Following are general guidelines for the prudent therapeutic use of antimicrobials in beef and dairy cattle.
The veterinarian's primary responsibility to the client is to help design management, immunization, housing and nutritional programs that will reduce the incidence of disease and the need for antimicrobials.
Antimicrobials should be used only within the confines of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship; this includes both dispensing and issuance of prescriptions.