Feed Lot

SEP-OCT 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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By TERRI QUECK-MATZIE reating cattle with an- t ibiotics is often neces- s ary. However, amid pressure from out- siders with what is sometimes limited understanding, producers are examining tradition- al protocols and the science behind disease control. "We have a great opportunity here to improve antibiotic steward- ship," says Dr. Bob Smith, DVM, chairman of the NCBA Cattle Health and Well-being Committee and editor of Bovine Practitioner. "The noise is high, and it's a tough issue. The landscape is changing." Smith addressed the issues of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in- cluding antibiotic resistance, in a Check Off funded webinar on Au- gust 10. AMR is the resistance of a microbe to medication that was once effective in treat- ing or preventing an infec- tion caused by that microbe. In cattle, like humans, b acteria changes as it is ex- p osed to drugs designed to kill it, and the medication eventually becomes ineffec- tive. Smith says misuse and over use are accelerating the problem. In humans, studies have indicated as many as 50 percent of prescribed bacte- ria-fighting drugs may not be necessary and are lead- ing to the development of superbugs that are virtually untreatable. "There are no new antibiotics in the pipeline; what we have is what we have," says Smith. Sustaining the usefulness of those drugs is key to prevention, control and treatment of infectious disease, in cattle, as well as humans. " B a c t e r i a a c t i v a t e s u r v i v a l mechanisms when threatened," ex- plains Smith. "The more exposure there is, the more chance there is for AMR." 18 FEED•LOT  September/October 2017 MANAGEMENT

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