Antibiotic stewardship: the role of consumer demand and retailer

Four leggers, two leggers, wings and fins all get sick and deserve the right to be treated. Antibiotics are among important tools for fighting illness, and the animal and human health industries cannot afford to lose their effectiveness. 

It is the law of nature that antibiotic-resistance just happens even before commercial antibiotics were developed in modern medicine. Yet, the level of antibiotic-resistance has reached unparalleled levels — a common concern shared across the animal and human health sector. Working from a One Health perspective, it comes down to antibiotic stewardship across all sectors. 

Animal agriculture is feeling the pressure. Farmers and ranchers are committed to doing what is right for the animal, including using antimicrobials judiciously to prevent an animal from suffering and most likely death. Yet, consumers play a significant role in the antibiotic-use discussion.  

J. Scott Vernon, PhD. agriculture communication professor from California Polytechnic State University, outlines the role of the consumer in the antibiotic discussion and challenges that lie ahead for animal agriculture to the National Institute for Animal Agriculture Antibiotic Symposium.

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