NEW PRAGUE, Minn. — Antibiotic use is vital to the health and welfare of food producing animals. However, improper antibiotic use may contribute to antibiotic resistant infections in humans. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states on their website that any time antibiotics are used, in people and animals, they can contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.
Appropriate administration of antibiotics is important for young dairy calves, especially those raised for veal, as they face early-life challenges, such as unknown colostrum management practices on the dairy farm of origin, long-distance transport, and pathogen exposure as they enter different environments before arriving to the veal grower.
To elevate educational training and resources provided to veal growers and industry representatives on this important topic, the Veal Quality Assurance (VQA) program has partnered with The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine to develop educational materials to guide treatment decisions to safeguard calf health and welfare and improve antibiotic stewardship.
Antibiotic Stewardship – Ensuring judicious antibiotic use and mitigating the impact of antibiotic resistance in veal calves — is the focus of a three-part training program added to the current VQA certification process. VQA is funded by the Beef Checkoff and managed by the North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Board.
“While the veal industry has had a good track record on residue avoidance, continuous improvement is the goal,” said Greg Habing, DVM and Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University. “Research we’ve conducted on veal farms indicates even with veterinary oversight, there is still opportunity to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. This program is aimed at changing that.”
The three modules covered in the 90-minute webinar on Antibiotic Stewardship include:
- Module 1 – Understanding Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance
- Module 2 – Enhancing Clinical Evaluation
- Module 3 –Applying Decision-tree Protocols
The modules use a variety of scenarios to provide valuable, relevant and practical instructions to make accurate health assessments. Additionally, growers will have enhanced understanding for what antibiotic resistance means, the differences between bacteria and a virus, and when antibiotic treatment is needed and when it is not. The program content was created by Greg Habing, DVM, PhD, Martey Masterson, DVM and Jessica Pempek, PhD, all from The Ohio State University.
“Responsible antibiotic use is essential to prevent emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, protect people and animals from adverse drug effects, and avoid antibiotic residue in animal products,” said Jessica Pempek, PhD, Assistant Professor and Animal Welfare Specialist at The Ohio State University.
“The benefits of antibiotic stewardship include better health outcomes, improved animal welfare, enhanced food safety and stemming the growth of antibiotic resistance. Additionally, stewardship may help lower treatment costs and lower production losses,” according to Pempek.
To access these Antibiotic Stewardship in Veal Calves training materials contact VQA program manager, DonnaM@LookEast.com. Additional information on Veal Quality Assurance can be found online at www.veal.org
Every beef and veal farmer, and every beef or veal importer, contributes one dollar per head to a fund called the National Beef Checkoff, which is used to support the Veal Quality Assurance Program. This program is administered by the North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the beef checkoff.
Background about the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association:
DCHA applied for 1.5 Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) credit, which helps veterinarians and veterinary technicians fulfill continuing education requirements. For further information about DCHA’s RACE offerings, contact JoDee Sattler at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about DCHA’s webinars, e-mail Sue Schatz, DCHA member services director, at: email@example.com. Follow DCHA on social media or visit the DCHA website to learn about future webinars.
The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (www.calfandheifer.org) was founded in 1996 based on the mission to help dairy producers, calf managers and those professionally focused on the growth and management of dairy calves and heifers. With a national membership of producers, allied industries and research leaders, DCHA seeks to provide the industry’s standards for profitability, performance and leadership, serving as a catalyst to help members improve the vitality and viability of their individual efforts and that of their business.
— Dairy Calf and Heifer Association
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