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October 16, 2014

Register NOW

Only FOUR Business Days Left to Register for NIAA Antibiotic Symposium & Receive Special Room Rate at Crowne Plaza Midtown Atlanta. Special Room Rate Ends October 21st.

Register for Symposium and Book Your Reservation Today!

Register now for the NIAA Antibiotic Symposium to be held in Atlanta, GA November 12–14, 2014 to receive the Special Room Rate for attendees at the Atlanta Crowne Plaza Midtown before the reserved block savings run out. Register for the Symposium HERE and book your accommodations while the savings are still available.

Moderator, Keynote and Closing Speakers at NIAA Symposium Academic Experts on Public, Animal Health

Developing Partnerships for Moving Forward, one of the keystone concepts at the important NIAA Antibiotics Use and Resistance Symposium in Atlanta November 12–14, is demonstrated by the presentations and speakers from academia, governmental agencies, and industry sector experts on the agenda.

As an example of the wide variety of speakers, the Symposium moderator, the opening keynote speaker and the final speaker at the closing session have all been garnered from some of the most prestigious medical schools in the nation–both veterinary and public health.

Dr. Daniel Thomson

Symposium Moderator Dr. Daniel Thomson, Jones Professor of Production Medicine at Kansas State University

Dr. Lonnie King

Keynote speaker Dr. Lonnie King, Dean of College of Veterinarian Medicine at The Ohio State University: Antibiotic Use and Resistance: Moving Forward Through Shared Stewardship

Dr. James Hughes

Closing Session Speaker Dr. James Hughes, Professor of Medicine and Public Health with joint Appointments in the School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University: Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: The Way Forward

For more speakers on the Agenda or to register go to

The American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, (ARPAS) has approved 12 Continuing Education Units for the Symposium.

NIAA would like to thank their partners including: Beef Checkoff, USDA/APHIS, Merck Animal Health, National Pork Board, Zoetis, United Soybean Board and Indiana Soybean Alliance, Georgia Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation, Elanco, Auburn University, Qiagen, Innovacyn (Vetericyn), the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vance Publications, Dairy Business and Brownfield Ag News for their support of this Symposium.

Partnership opportunities are available. Contact Katie Ambrose at 719.538.8843, extension 14. Click HERE to register or go to

FDA, Farmers Still Debate the Use of Antibiotics in Animals

Farmers, ranchers and those who make drugs for animals have long insisted that agriculture is not the major culprit in antibiotic resistance. They say antibiotics such as tetracyclines aren't important for human health, and the benefits for animals outweigh the risks for people. It is certainly true that tetracyclines are not at the forefront of human medicine, although they have some minor uses. But what if there isn't such a wall between the resistant bacteria in people and animals? What if they share the same ecosystem?

A study published last year about the use of tetracyclines on cattle raises this question anew. The research showed that the use of a tetracycline led to "co–selection," a process in which the antibiotic expanded the population of bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics as well. In their experiment, the tetracycline expanded resistance to a cephalosporin, a class of antibiotic that is highly valued in human medicine. The FDA last year asked the animal drug–makers to voluntarily stop producing antibiotics for growth promotion over the next three years, and all agreed. The FDA also said it would require antibiotic use to take place under supervision of a veterinarian. The FDA will continue to authorize the widespread use of antibiotics on healthy farm animals as a means to prevent disease. How much of a reduction can be expected? The data on antibiotic use on U.S. farms is skimpy, and no one really knows. Commentary by David E. Hoffman, The Washington Post, 10/12/14

FDA: Increase in Antibiotics Use in Animals

Antibiotics sold for use by the livestock industry, including in animal feed, increased by 16% in four years (2009–12). This is according to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) latest annual report on sales and distribution data on antibiotics approved for use in food–producing animals. The report shows that 61% of the antibiotics sold for use in food–producing and non–food producing animals were medically important.

The Animal Health Institute noted a recent study by Harvard University's School of Public Health on the risk to human health of antibiotics use in animal agriculture found the "...proportion of antibiotics by weight used in agriculture, as opposed to human medicine, it does not follow that the majority of selective pressure on human pathogens, let alone the majority of human health impact of antibiotic resistance, results from agriculture uses." By P. Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer, 10/13/14

Frontline Airs Report on Antibiotics Overuse in the American Meat Industry

PBS's FRONTLINE will air the second in its two–part series exploring the mounting crisis of antibiotics resistance –– now among the top five health threats facing the nation according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The series picks up on last October's sobering account of the misuses of antibiotics in human medicine and how they've contributed to the rise of resistant bacteria –– known as "superbugs." But tonight's two–hour episode focuses more specifically on the problem of antibiotics misuse and overuse in the American meat industry.

Something viewers might be shocked to learn tonight is that a whopping 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for use in livestock, not humans. The majority are used on industrial farms to speed up animals' growth and compensate for crowded, stressful and unsanitary conditions. When antibiotic are used day after day to raise the animals that end up on our plates, some bacteria become resistant, multiply and spread, threatening us all, whether we eat meat or not. By Sasha Lyutse, The Huffington Post, 10/14/14

US Pork Industry Launches Online Defense of Antibiotics

The National Pork Board, an association of US pork producers, is launching an online campaign defending antibiotics use in livestock, as the practice was questioned by a television documentary. Reuters reported that the National Pork Board sent out an email to food and agriculture officials detailing its strategy in advance of PBS Frontline program entitled, "The Trouble with Antibiotics", which was aired on 14 October.

The industry was taking steps to "monitor, engage and respond to any and all media coverage of this story," Jarrod Sutton, vice president for social responsibility at the National Pork Board. By Jerin Mathew, International Business Times, 10/15/14

Beef Animal Welfare Views: U.S. Public vs. Cattle Producers

Although prior research has addressed the issue of animal welfare in certain areas–the swine and egg industries as examples–limited research currently exists comparing producer and consumer views of beef and dairy animal welfare, said Glynn Tonsor, livestock economist for Kansas State University (K–State). A key finding in the study showed 65 percent of U.S. consumers reported they were concerned about the welfare of beef cattle in the United States. And while most beef producers strongly disagreed that a trade–off exists between profitability and animal welfare, consumers tended to believe that being more profitable means sacrificing on animal welfare.

"Producers believe there is a connection between profitability and animal welfare," said Melissa McKendree, a doctoral agricultural economics student at K–State. "So, a healthy animal is going to be more profitable." Another major difference between the two groups was their views on providing overall care to cattle. While 73 percent of cow–calf producers believed that U.S. farms and ranches provide appropriate overall care to their cattle, only 39 percent of the public believed this to be true. By Katie Allen, High Plains Journal, 10/13/14

Setting a Goal for Aquaculture

Whether we like it or not, barring a worldwide abandonment of traditional meat–based protein in our collective diet, we must consider farming animals, including those that swim, for food – the world has too many mouths to feed to do it any other way.

Despite the embracing of seafood farming as the answer, the aquaculture industry has had its growing pains and suffered legitimate criticism for sometimes trying to expand too far too fast. Diseases such as white spot, infectious salmon anemia and early mortality syndrome have hit shrimp and salmon, two of the world's most popular farmed species, sending a warning to seafood farmers that there's a right – and wrong – way to do it.

Various NGOs have gone on record condemning aquaculture as dangerous to the environment and even dangerous to human health. While some of those criticisms have merit, many do not, and there are plenty of critics who are motivated by emotion rather than facts. Even those who mean well and take the time to document their concerns have often fallen back on the tired model of preaching doom and gloom without offering anything constructive. Seafood Source, 10/07/14

Risk Management Strategies Vital to PEDv Control

Encouraging new research from Pipestone Veterinary Services suggests it may be possible to secure feed gainst PEDv. The study, which appeared in BMC Veterinary Research, says quot;preliminary evidence that a means to 'biosecure' feed against a globally significant virus may be possible." Kemin Industries, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, funded the research study at the request of Pipestone Veterinary Services and has marketed the product used in the study (Sal CURB), for nearly 20 years. It is a formaldehyde–blended product designed to maintain Salmonella–negative status of complete feeds and feed ingredients for up to 21 days. Formaldehyde is an ingredient regulated by the FDA as an antimicrobial and can be used as part of a comprehensive risk management program. PorkNetwork, 10/07/14

OIE Confirms Porcine Plasma Products Not Source of PEDv

Research is ongoing to uncover the source of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) and how it made its way into American hog herds; however, this week the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) confirmed that pig blood products such as dried plasma are not likely a source of the disease provided good manufacturing and biosecurity standards are followed. The OIE also announced a PEDv technical factsheet, available here. In it, the organization reaffirms that pig blood products is not likely the source of PEDv. By Angela Bowman, PorkNetwork, 10/08/14

Perdue Settles Labeling Lawsuit

Perdue Farms Inc. has reached a settlement with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), ending two federal lawsuits over the chicken processor's labeling claims. The two cases, one originating in New Jersey and the other in Florida, allege that Perdue's "humanely raised" claim on its Harvestland brand of chicken products was misleading. Perdue vigorously denied the claims. However, the settlement requires the plaintiffs to dismiss their claims with prejudice in exchange for Perdue agreeing to remove the labeling claim from Harvestland chicken packaging.

"Perdue rejects the plaintiffs' allegations and maintains that its labels are not misleading in any way. Nonetheless, it has agreed to discontinue the labeling claim at issue," said Herb Frerichs, general counsel for Perdue Farms. "Perdue is committed to treating animals with respect and to ensuring their health and safety. We are pleased this lawsuit has been resolved." Meat & Poultry, 10/13/14

U.S. Chicken Exports to India More Likely After WTO Ruling

India broke World Trade Organization rules by blocking imports of U.S. poultry and other farm products because of unsubstantiated bird flu fears, a WTO dispute panel ruled on Tuesday, potentially opening up an estimated $300 million a year export market for the United States. "This is a major victory for American farmers," said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who termed the poultry decision "the fourth major WTO victory" for the United States this year. "Our farmers produce the finest, and safest, agricultural products in the world." By Tom Miles and Krista Hughes, Reuters, 10/14/14

29–Year 100 Billion Animal Study Reinforces Safety Of GM Foods

Visit almost any anti–GMO website and you will find alarming headlines about the alleged dangers of GMO foods. What does the research say?

In the most comprehensive study of GMOs and food ever conducted, University of California–Davis Department of Animal Science geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam and research assistant Amy E. Young reviewed 29 years of livestock productivity and health data from both before and after the introduction of genetically engineered animal feed. The field data represented more than 100 billion animals covering a period before 1996 when animal feed was 100% non–GMO, and after its introduction when it jumped to 90% and more.

What did they find? That GM feed is safe and nutritionally equivalent to non–GMO feed. There was no indication of any unusual trends in the health of animals since 1996 when GMO crops were first harvested. Considering the size of the dataset, it can reasonably be said that the debate over the impact of GE feed on animal health is closed: there is zero extraordinary impact. By Jon Entine, Science 20, 10/07/14

Start the Conversation: Let's Talk About Animal Agriculture

"Start the Conversation: Let's Talk About Animal Agriculture" is the first in a new series of resources the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is launching to foster discussion on questions consumers have about food production and agriculture. Modeled after quick–reference subject–area cards found in bookstores, the single–page, front and back laminated cards feature questions, answers and suggested strategies for meaningful discussion.

The cards feature "farmer spotlights," with real answers to important questions such as "Can animals be raised without antibiotics?" and "How are decisions made about animal care?" Order Start the Conversation: Let's Talk About Animal Agriculture cards online at Dairy Herd Management, 10/09/14

The above news articles are provided by the individual sources identified in each article and are not a product of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. Intended for personal, noncommercial use only.
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The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum for building consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture-the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, goats, equine and poultry industries-and provides continuing education and communication linkages for animal agriculture professionals. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work towards the eradication of disease that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being. NIAA members represent all facets of animal agriculture.