One Health Antibiotic Stewardship
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Stories of Antibiotic Use and Resistance
Kohls Land and Cattle
While we have not experienced an issue with effectiveness of antibiotics currently on the market, antibiotic effectiveness is something we continue to watch for and think about. Cost is a challenge and effective antibiotics currently on the market are extremely expensive. I also wish people knew that there are safety stops in place to prevent unacceptable antibiotic residue [traces of antibiotics] in meat that is sold in stores. Withdrawal times [time between giving an antibiotic and when that animal can be used for meat or milk] are researched and are proven to be effective, which is something that needs to be talked about more.
We have not knowingly had an issue with antibiotic resistance within our own cattle.
Animals get sick, just like humans do. It is important for us to have timely treatments that work for these animals to help them overcome whatever bacterial illness they may have. In our feedlot and in our cow herd, when tending to sick animals we start by pulling individual animals that need to be treated from the pen. If we have had consecutive days of multiple pulls from a single pen, I will talk to my veterinarian about treating the entire pen of cattle for preventive purposes. I then get my VFD [veterinary feed directive, or order for antibiotics from the veterinarian] to treat a larger group of animals through their feed.
How has antibiotic resistance or antibiotic use affected the way you raise your livestock and live your life?
For us, we do what we can to prevent animals from getting sick. We have always focused on prevention; nobody wants their animals to get sick. Moving and treating livestock who do get sick is not easy or fun, so prevention is definitely key for us. I have also noticed more companies starting to talk about antibiotic alternatives. This is something worth learning more about. We are open to trying them on our farm as long as they are effective and safe.
We worry about our family’s health and our livestock's health. Our biggest fear with antibiotic resistance is that we will not have a treatment that works to overcome sickness in our family and our animals.
I would like to know more about current research being done on alternatives to antibiotics, or alternative ways to use antibiotics to maintain effectiveness. While we have not had an issue with getting a VFD when needed, it would be nice to know what the future of antibiotic alternatives in the feedlot will be. But, with that being said, we still need the option to use an antibiotic when preventative measures or alternatives fail.