GRSB issues statement on antimicrobial stewardship
August 12, 2018
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The membership of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef has voted overwhelmingly to approve a global Statement on Antimicrobial Stewardship to recognize the urgency with which action against the development of Antimicrobial Resistance needs to be taken.
GRSB President Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, of OSI Group, LLC said "Antimicrobial resistance is a major global threat to human and animal health. This statement reflects what GRSB members believe should be done by the beef value chain to manage antimicrobials responsibly. This guidance is especially important for places in the world that lack structures to support responsible antibiotic use. 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."
The GRSB Antimicrobial statement is in alignment with World Organization for Animal Health guidance and equivalents adopted in other countries for antimicrobial use in cattle. It provides suggestions to aid cattle producers and the veterinary profession in maintaining herd health and welfare, as well as economic viability. The GRSB worked collaboratively with members and specialists over a period of months to produce the statement, and after two rounds of membership consultation, the members voted to approve its release.
"Developing this statement was not a quick nor easy process. It took some time to reach consensus on the manner in which we should address the issue of antimicrobial resistance. The work of coming to consensus can be challenging when dealing with the entire beef value chain, but it's critically important, as we are all stakeholders." Leon Mol, GRSB Vice President, Ahold Delhaize.
Ruaraidh Petre, GRSB executive director said "The membership of GRSB believes in taking straightforward actions that are within their power. This statement provides a clear path forward for cattle keepers everywhere and particularly in the many countries that still lack frameworks to ensure responsible antibiotic use; these approaches help to avoid situations in which people or animals end up without treatment because infections have become resistant to the drugs currently available."
U.S. beef producer, and GRSB member Erika Murphy said "As a seedstock producer, it is important and helpful for me to have guidance on the subject of antimicrobial resistance. 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. "
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Since forming in 2014, GRSB has placed emphasis on responsible use of antimicrobials, including references of responsible antimicrobial use in the Principles & Criteria for Defining Global Sustainable Beef, and the membership of GRSB is excited to take this next step in leading change around the global that will help to combat antimicrobial resistance.