Raising food animals without antibiotics: Is it sustainable?

Published on September 27, 2018

AVMA's chief economist to examine the data

Rising consumer interest in how food is produced has resulted in more farm animals being raised without antibiotics. This has placed new demands on the veterinarians who care for these animals and who serve as critical stewards of both animal and public health. It also has raised questions about how this type of production affects animal health and welfare, economics, and the environment.

AVMA’s chief economist will tackle those questions in a presentation and discussion tomorrow – Friday, September 28 – at the New York Academy of Sciences. Focusing on poultry production specifically, Dr. Matt Salois will address the sustainability of raising food animals without the use of antibiotics, and the importance of balancing economic, environmental, and animal welfare factors.

The presentation, “Sustainability and Antimicrobial Use in Animal Agriculture,” will take place at 8:35 a.m. Central Time, and you can sign up to watch it via webinar. It’s part of a day-long symposium on Minimizing the Risk of Antimicrobial Resistance from Food Animal Production.

Antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic use in food animals are complex issues. It’s critical that food policy decisions be evidence-based and outcome-focused, not driven by perception. Friday’s presentation will take a data-driven approach to assessing the animal health, environmental, and economic impacts of raising poultry without antibiotics.

The AVMA has long encouraged the judicious use of antimicrobials to ensure that medically important antibiotics remain effective for both humans and animals. Earlier this week, we joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge, committing to continue to work on critical issues related to antimicrobial use and resistance.


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