AVMA 2010: Veterinarians call for 'seat at the table' when it comes to federal antibiotic use policies in animals


Atlanta?Veterinarians should be involved in the 'decision-making process' when it comes to the use of antibiotics in animals.


—Veterinarians should be involved in the “decision-making process” when it comes to the use of antibiotics in animals.

That was the impetus of a resolution that unanimously passed a reference committee today during the first day of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) House of Delegates meeting.

The full AVMA assembly will have a chance to vote on the measure tomorrow, and it’s expected to spark much discussion on an escalating debate about the use of antimicrobials in agriculture and human healthcare fears over the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Today’s meeting precedes the association’s annual convention July 31-Aug. 3 at the Georgia World Congress Center, which is expected to draw an estimated 9,000 veterinary professionals, the association reports.

While veterinarians deliberated on multiple resolutions today, two dealt with the role of veterinarians as it relates to antibiotic use and distribution.

The two resolutions come on the heels of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposal to phase out certain uses of antimicrobials within agriculture, including those used for growth promotion, as reported by DVM Newsmagazine.

And, if they pass tomorrow, they become AVMA policy, which will in turn help the association formalize a strategy when confronting these issues with lawmakers and government agencies like the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and the United States Department of Agriculture.

The first resolution states, “the American Veterinary Medical Association believes that veterinarians should be involved in the decision-making process for the use of antimicrobials in animals regardless of the distribution channels through which the antimicrobials were obtained.”

The second resolution calls on the association “to be at the forefront of discussions that may impact drug availability, such as regulatory changes in veterinary oversight especially pertaining to antimicrobial use.”Approval of both of these resolutions would establish these statements as AVMA policy, explains Dr. Michael Topper, who presided over the AVMA reference committee.

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