COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) issued a statement regarding antimicrobial stewardship to provide cattle producers and veterinarians with guidelines for maintaining the health of cattle herds while preserving the efficacy of antimicrobials important to human and animal health.

The GRSB statement aligns with guidance developed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and equivalent guidance adopted in other countries for antimicrobial use in cattle. GRSB President Nicole Johnson-Hoffman of OSI Group LLC said antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to human and animal health globally, and the GRSB statement reflects members’ views about what should be done by beef chain stakeholders to manage antimicrobials responsibly.

“This guidance is especially important for places in the world that lack structures to support responsible antibiotic use,” Johnson-Hoffman said. “Just 89 countries report having a system in place to collect data on the use of antimicrobial agents in animals (OIE, 2015) and roughly 40 percent of countries report they have yet to develop national action plans; it is clear to our membership that action needs to be taken.”

GRSB suggests stakeholders:

  • Ensure those administering antimicrobials are appropriately trained and competent in correctly following prescription and label instructions;
  • Ensure legal compliance in administration of antimicrobials with drug indication, dose, route, frequency, duration, withdrawal period, and storage, as per prescriptions/label directions and health protocols from a veterinarian; and
  • Not use any antimicrobials other than ionophores to improve feed efficiency, among other recommendations.

“As a seedstock producer, it is important and helpful for me to have guidance on the subject of antimicrobial resistance,” said Erika Murphy, a US beef producer and GRSB member. “I am asked about this topic on a regular basis from consumers and I can now direct people to this AMR statement to help educate, reassure, and reach a better understanding on what the beef industry is doing; as well as explain how we apply it in our own herd management practices.”

Formed in 2012, GRSB is an international working group of industry, non-profit organizations, associations, academia and think-tanks convened to advance and sustain improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership science and multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

Click here to view the complete GRSB Statement on Antimicrobial Stewardship.