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November 20, 2014

More Photos from the 2014 Antibiotics Use and Resistance Symposium on NIAA Website at

Successful Antibiotics Use and Resistance Symposium Hosted by NIAA in Atlanta

With a key focus on the role of stewardship, distinguished speakers from animal and human health lead discussions and presentations on antibiotic use and resistance today and into the future at the Antibiotic Use and Resistance Symposium held in Atlanta last week. The Symposium was hosted by National Institute for Animal Agriculture and was the fourth Symposium NIAA has hosted on the topic in as many years.

Symposium Moderator Dr. Daniel Thomson, Jones Professor of Production Medicine at Kansas State University

Industry leaders, government researchers, and the scientific community came together with academic and public health experts and consumers to do more than talk about the subject of antibiotic use. As keynote speaker Dr. Lonnie King, Dean of College of Veterinarian Medicine at The Ohio State University, explained, the topic has shifted from discussion to a bias toward actions. Small work–groups which met throughout the Symposium were especially crucial, with discussion on lessons learned, and then action steps pulled out. Stakeholders within animal agriculture, human medicine and the environment shared and learned from each other in order to seek resolution about the often misunderstood issues of antimicrobial use and resistance.

"This is a call to action and to be involved in this is important to all of us and for the future of animal agriculture," says King.

NIAA would like to thank their partners including: Beef Checkoff, USDA/APHIS, Merck Animal Health, National Pork Board, Zoetis, United Soybean Board and Indiana Soybean Alliance, Georgia Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation, Elanco, Auburn University, Qiagen, Innovacyn (Vetericyn), the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vance Publications, Dairy Business and Brownfield Ag News for their support of this Symposium.

The Need for Antibiotic Stewardship

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture held its annual antibiotics symposium "Antibiotic Use and Resistance; Moving Forward Through Shared Stewardship." Dr. Lonnie King, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University keynoted the conference, he says the main goal was to prepare agriculture for the FDA's new guidance. That is a three–year plan to voluntarily eliminate the use of certain antibiotics as growth promotants. King says there were representatives from all areas of agriculture at the conference and they all believe they can do this but it is going to take an adjustment period.

Another factor in all of this is the fact we have not had any new antibiotics in the last 30 years. King says it is just not economically feasible for companies to develop one. He says we are going to have to change the incentives to these companies, we're going to have to do public–private partnerships or maybe tax incentives to make it economically feasible for them to spend the money. "That's been part of the issue and that is part of the conversation now." By Bob Meyer, West Central Mo Info, 11/14/14

Senators to FDA: Get Data on Antibiotics in Food–Producing Livestock

For the second time this year, a group of U.S. Senators is pressing the FDA to strengthen its oversight of antibiotics that are used in food–producing livestock.

In a letter sent yesterday to the agency, the senators say they want FDA officials to collect data on the extent to which these medicines are used by food producers. At issue is growing concern that humans are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics that are widely used in food–producing animals.

Antibiotic resistance has been blamed for at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which called for minimizing use. More recently, the Obama administration released a game plan for coping with the problem. By Ed Silverman, Wall Street Journal, 11/13/14

5 Good Reads Addressing Concerns About Antibiotics In Animal Agriculture

I've rounded up five BEEF resources that address antibiotic use in animal agriculture, plus Meat Myth Crushers has a great video sharing information about what the consumer needs to know. Here are five great reads addressing the issue:
1. What Happens When A DVM & An MD Talk Antibiotics?
2.VIDEO: Discussions Surrounding Antibiotic Resistance Cannot Be One-Sided
3. VIDEO: Judicious Use Of Antibiotics In Animal Ag Is A Must
4.True Or False: Animal Agriculture Uses 80% Of All Antibiotics
5. Survey Finds Confusion Among Consumers Regarding Antibiotics
Plus, check out the Meat Myth Crusher video HERE. By Amanda Radke, BEEF Magazine, 11/19/14

Using Antimicrobials ResponsiblyundefinedAdvice for Doctors, Dentists and Veterinarians

These guidelines have been drawn together to mark the European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November. They have been developed in the framework of
the "One Health" concept and aim to support Doctors, Dentists and Veterinarians in their daily practice. The development of new antimicrobials
has not kept pace with the increase of resistance to existing antimicrobials. Responsible use is an integral part of your professional code of conduct and best
practice guidelines. The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) support you in saving lives and making sure that antibiotics stay effective now and in the future, by following these recommendations. Click HERE for PDF. Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, 11/18/14

Strategy to Stem Infections in Livestock, Endangered Species

When a viral infection spread through five genetically identical mice in a row, the virus replicated faster and became more virulent or severe. But when the infection spread one–by–one through five genetically diverse mice, the virus had trouble adapting and became less virulent.By showing this long–suspected mechanism holds true within a single species of vertebrate animal, namely, mice, the University of Utah study suggests that increased genetic diversity should be promoted in livestock and in captive–bred endangered species so as to limit their risk of getting deadly infections.

"This study showed a surprising rapid and large effect of genetic diversity in mice that dramatically reduced the replication of virus infecting the mice and the severity of disease caused by the virus," says biology professor Wayne Potts. He is senior author of the study published online this month in the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "There's a reason we are not clones of our mom and dad," says the study's first author, Jason Kubinak, a postdoctoral fellow in biology. "Among other reasons, it's because mechanisms that promote genetic differences between us probably protect us from more severe infectious disease." News–Medical, 11/18/14

FAO: Future Aquaculture Growth to Be Greater Than Expected

Fish farming will likely grow more than expected in the coming decade, by as much as 4.14% per year through 2022, according to a new report from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Increased investment in the aquaculture sector should boost farmed–fish production, particularly in productivity–enhancing technologies including in the areas of water use, breeding, hatchery practices and feedstuff innovation.

"The primary reason for increased optimism is that there is ample room for catching up with more productive technologies, especially in Asia, where many fish farmers are small and unable to foot the hefty capital outlays the industry requires to expand output without running into resource constraints," said Audun Lem, a senior official at FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Economics Division and one of the lead authors of the 120–page report. Undercurrent News, 11/17/14

Ranchers Get 1st Mexican Wolf/Livestock Payments

The Mexican Wolf/Livestock Coexistence Council has issued its first payments for the presence of wolves to 26 Arizona and New Mexico livestock operators who qualified for the plan's first year. Payments for presence of Mexican wolves address the negative financial impacts on livestock producers that accompany Mexican wolf recovery. It is comprised of three core strategies: payments for wolf presence, funding for conflict avoidance measures and continued funding for depredation compensation. Arizona Daily Sun, 11/18/14

Poultry Producers Say 'Waters of US' Rule Would Cause Problems

The US Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation filed comments with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the proposed rule developed by the EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) to define "Waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Like many other potentially affected parties, the three organisations note that the rule extends the authority and jurisdiction of the CWA and will confound practical implementation, and should be withdrawn. "Such unnecessary expansion of CWA jurisdiction significantly burdens poultry and egg production operations without any meaningful public health or environmental benefits," the organizations said. The Poultry Site, 11/18/14

Wow of the Week: How Horse Poop Could Be the Next Source of Effective Antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria has been a well–known threat for some time, and the World Health Organization (WHO) and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have kept a focus on it through the years. But now, Andreas Essig and his colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and the University of Bonn in Germany have found a new potentially surprising source of hope for the scary threat of antibiotic resistance.

In a new study published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, a common inky cap mushroom called Coprinopsis cinerea, which can be found growing straight out of ignored piles of horse dung, has been the subject of research and provides a fascinating genetic history, relevant to antibiotics. What researchers discovered in the fungi is a protein called copsin that has the same effect as traditional antibiotics, but belongs to a different class of biochemical substances.

Essig and his colleagues have already seen the protein kill pathogens like Listeria – a bacterium that causes food poisoning that is extremely difficult to treat. By Nicole Oran, Med City News, 11/16/14

Paltry Poultry: US Turkey Numbers at 28–Year Low, Record Wholesale Prices Precede Thanksgiving

Turkey production is at its lowest level in nearly three decades and wholesale prices are at an all–time high, but Thanksgiving cooks probably won't see much difference in the price they pay at the stores for their frozen birds. This year's anticipated stock is 235 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service undefined the lowest since 1986, when U.S. farmers produced roughly 207 million birds.

While the estimated 2014 number doesn't indicate a shortage of turkeys, which can remain in cold storage for a year or longer, it does reflect a pullback in recent years by poultry producers who were forced to reduce their flocks to remain afloat. But consumers won't necessarily see that reflected in the price of their Thanksgiving meal centerpiece.

"There's really no correlation between what grocery store chains are paying and what they're selling them at," USDA agriculture economist David Harvey said. By Bill Draper, Kansas City Star Tribune, 11/15/14

Pig Farmers Share Stories Through Social Media

Pork producers, veterinarians and other swine industry representatives across the country are teaming up to share stories with consumers through Pork Checkoff's social media outreach program, #RealPigFarming. The campaign launched as a way to help answer questions consumers might have about how pigs are raised. The hashtag before Real Pig Farming allows people to easily search social media posts with the same phrase.

"We want farmers and those involved in the industry to tell the real stories about modern pork production," said Claire Masker, public relations manager for the checkoff. "Consumers are so far removed from the farm, but once they get to meet with farmers and have questions answered, they are more confident with how pigs are raised and what pig farmers are doing," Masker said. By Amie Sitesa, AgriNews, 11/12/14

USDA to Survey Sheep Operations

Starting in late December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will measure sheep inventories and wool production during a nationwide survey. Operators surveyed will be asked to provide information about their sheep inventories, counts of lambs born during 2014 and production and prices received for wool. NASS will contact about 23,000 operations nationwide to request their responses to the survey.

"Accurate date on sheep inventory and production is a critical decision–making tool for USDA and the industry in order to be more responsive to domestic and international markets and consumer needs," said Joseph Prusacki, NASS national operations division director.Survey results will be published in the Sheep and Goats report on Jan. 30, 2015. American Sheep Industry Assocation Newsletter, 11/14/14

The above news articles are provided by the individual sources identified in each article and are not a product of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. Intended for personal, noncommercial use only.
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The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum for building consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture-the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, goats, equine and poultry industries-and provides continuing education and communication linkages for animal agriculture professionals. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work towards the eradication of disease that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being. NIAA members represent all facets of animal agriculture.