Antibiotics are critical tools for control of diseases in livestock. Antibiotic resistance threatens the use of antibiotics in livestock for two important reasons. If resistance develops, the antibiotic may not be effective in treating the disease. Increased antibiotic resistance could lead to policies limiting access to antibiotics for use in livestock.
“KSUantibiotics.org was created as a launching point to find information about antibiotics,” says Mike Tokach, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry distinguished professor. “The new site includes a section on antibiotic resistance, featuring new K-State fact sheets about how antibiotic resistance occurs and why livestock producers should care about antibiotic resistance.”
The website also includes links to sites that provide an overview of antibiotic resistance, mechanisms, the current knowledge about resistance in livestock production, the USDA and Food and Drug Administration action plans concerning resistance, and news feeds with the latest information on the topic. The subpages contain information from major agencies such as the World Health Organization, producer groups like the National Pork Board, and research publications on the topics.
Besides information on resistance, the site includes links to the rules concerning the FDA’s Veterinary Feed Directives for livestock producers and other antibiotic regulations. Links to videos created by the Beef Cattle Institute at K-State can be found under the VFD section. Another section leads the user to reviews on the main alternatives to antibiotics that have been tested. The last section provides links to information on management practices that can reduce the need for antibiotics.
“We encourage producers to visit this site to learn about antibiotic resistance and alternatives to antibiotics,” says Tokach, who is a swine specialist with K-State Research and Extension.
Development of the website was supported by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.