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September 16, 2010


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Word. Tell 'em how it is, Dr. Mike.

Dr. Katherinen M. Swift

Dr. Cuprain,

Antibiotic use in food producing animals and the potential for antibiotic resistance is something that is not taken lightly by the veterinary community. As a cattle veterinarian, I wish that the human and animal medical communities could discuss another alternative.

Are you aware that the feeding of antibiotics you describe can be done without the prescription of a veterinarian? I contend that the removal of all over-the-counter access to antibiotics would lower the total amount used (feeding or otherwise). Farmers would have to consult with a veterinarian on the proper use of antibiotics in a particular situation instead of guessing.

Is that something you have considered?


Hi Dr. Swift,

Thanks for your reply. It is great to hear a veterinarian's opinion on this issue.

You make a good point and I am aware that a prescription from a veterinarian is not required for the administration of antibiotics to farm animals.

I think it is an excellent idea to eliminate over the counter (OTC) access to antibiotics for animals. Hopefully this would indeed reduce the amount of antibiotics used, and might also help to better survey the amount of antibiotics used and for what indication.

I think though that this elimination of OTC antibiotics, should be done in conjunction with regulation prohibiting the use of antibiotics as growth promoters and regulation concerning prophylactic use.

Do you think that is a good idea?

Also, Would you agree that on factory farms, antibiotics are given with the consent of veterinarians, because the veterinarians believe that the conditions in which the animals live require antibiotics in order to keep them from getting sick?

How do veterinarians feel about using antibiotics as growth promoters. Is there any medical reason to justify it?



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