Note: The AVMA has endorsed these guidelines developed by the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.
The production of safe and wholesome beef and dairy products for human consumption is a primary goal of the AABP. In reaching that goal, the AABP is committed to disease prevention through management practices including the use of vaccines, parasiticides, stress reduction, management of the animal’s environment, and proper nutritional management. The AABP recognizes that proper and timely management practices can reduce the occurrence of disease and therefore reduce the need for antimicrobials; however, antimicrobials remain a necessary tool to prevent, control and treat infectious disease in beef and dairy herds. Prudent use of antimicrobials is encouraged in order to reduce animal pain and suffering, to protect the economic livelihood of beef and dairy producers, to ensure the continued production of safe and wholesome foods of animal origin, and to minimize the development of antibiotic resistance. Following are AABP’s general guidelines for the prudent use of antimicrobials in beef and dairy cattle.
The veterinarian’s primary responsibility is to help design management, immunization, housing and nutritional programs that will aid in reducing the incidence of disease and, thereby, 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.