Judicious Antibiotic Use A Priority For Beef Producers, Purchasers

December 20, 2018

McDonald’s and Costco recently joined a growing list of large beef purchasers making announcements about the use of antibiotics by their meat suppliers. While companies continue to address the issue independently, the focus of this movement is on livestock producers judiciously using antibiotics under the supervision of a veterinarian. The ultimate goal of foodservice and retail companies is to reduce the total amount used in food-producing animals over the next few years.

Initiatives already in place in the livestock industry will help accomplish this goal. The veterinary feed directive has enhanced oversight of antibiotics in animal feed. In addition, residue testing continues to indicate beef producers are accurately administering products according to the label and are meeting product withdrawal times. However, concerns about the over-use of antibiotics in both humans and animals, resulting in a reduction in product effectiveness, are the primary driving factor behind these company announcements.

One example of livestock producers voluntarily doing their part to meet consumer expectations for judicious antibiotic use is through their growing participation in the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. The BQA program is rooted in a rancher’s mission to “do the right thing.” The judicious use of antibiotics is part of the goal of producing high-quality, wholesome and healthy beef. Ranchers, feeders, dairymen and transportation specialists can learn more about BQA training and certification at www.bqa.org.

To read the statement from McDonald’s, go to https://tinyurl.com/y9ahezrs. The Costco statement can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/yd2fmqcy.