Livestock producers depend on antimicrobials to provide their animals with proper health care and a comfortable life. And because the producers of our food depend on antimicrobials, we all do. Though, having access to these tools comes with the responsibility to use them in the best interest of the general population, which includes both people and animals. Prevention of illness and infection along with responsible antimicrobial usage is fundamental to the livestock producer’s fight against this growing problem. We’ve distilled some of our most important tips and information below to help you improve the well being of your animals and to lower your dependence on antimicrobials.
Ensure animals are vaccinated regularly:
Disease prevention is the most effective way we can control our dependence on antimicrobials. Regular vaccinations protect the health of individual animals as well as their whole herd.
Improve animals’ health through diet, exercise, and hygiene:
By improving your animals’ overall health, you enable them to fight off more bacterial infections without the use of antimicrobials. This method of prevention reduces our dependence on antimicrobials and helps maintain their effectiveness for future use. Talk to your veterinarian about how you can improve your animals’ lifestyle and overall health.
Provide proper housing with adequate ventilation:
Proper housing and ventilation are essential to keep animals healthy and providing them with a suitable quality of life. Through improving an animal’s living conditions we take another step toward reducing our antimicrobial dependence by reducing the need for treatment.
Improve sanitation and animal welfare throughout the husbandry process:
This includes properly weaning the diet of young animals, improving the sanitation of their living conditions, and the quality of their bedding during and after birth. Following these suggestions will improve the animals’ health and improve their ability to fight bacterial infections throughout their lives.
Develop a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR):
Preventing and treating disease requires the knowledge to recognize symptoms and properly communicate them to your veterinarian. By talking to your veterinarian about your animals’ health, including antimicrobial usage, you will be empowered to prevent bacterial infections and preserve your access to antimicrobials.