Food animal production is an important part of agriculture. It includes beef, dairy, poultry, and pork. Advances in animal breeding, genetics, and health have increased the quality, safety and quantity of animal protein available to consumers, an important source of protein in the human diet.
For more than 50 years, veterinarians, farmers and ranchers have given antibiotics to food animals, primarily poultry, pigs, and cattle, mostly to treat or prevent animal diseases. The following resources provide information about antibiotic use in animals, and answer questions about why antibiotics are used in food animals and how animal antibiotics are regulated. These resources address questions about when and how often animal antibiotics are used in food animals, as well as requirements that are currently in place to minimize the overall risk to human health.
The process for eliminating antibiotic residues in animal food products, such as meat, milk, and eggs is also discussed and several credible resources (such as health, scientific, and government groups) are listed to provide information on animal antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance as they relate to food safety.
Animal Agriculture Resources:
U.S. Food & Drug Administration, FDA takes steps to protect public health
IFIC Foundation, “Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety Risks”