Antibiotic use by the Livestock Industry

Bridget Carmody

Cow Image

I am studying current federal regulation in the United States aiming to prevent an increase in antimicrobial resistance via livestock production practices. Most of this regulation has been formulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also playing an important legislative role. It is essential that current practices be assessed to identify shortcomings where further regulation could be crucial in preventing antimicrobial abuse by the livestock industry, because the preservation of antimicrobial is necessary to further both human and animal health and wellbeing.

The current pandemic highlights how fragile both the global and national economy are, and for a sustainable future in which future generations are provided the same protections from disease, we must change the way we approach our usage of antimicrobial. This primary objective of this research project is to assess the responsiveness and effectiveness of current national policies in light of scientific knowledge regarding antimicrobial resistance and how it proliferates.

As part of the project, I am planning to interview regulators at the USDA and FDA in order to gain an important perspective on how best to approach regulation of the livestock industry, as current guidelines are voluntary and the effectiveness is not being measured properly. Ultimately, this research will shed light on an important crisis that is not being addressed properly in the United States while also providing important information to formulate a set of recommendations that could help shape policy moving forward.