The framework is the product of a two-year dialogue among stakeholders, moderated by Farm Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, to ensure that antibiotics are used judiciously throughout production to protect animal and public health.
The stakeholders agreed that the use of medically important antibiotics in all settings, from human health care to livestock production, must be carefully managed to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and preserve the effectiveness of these vital drugs. The framework issued defines effective stewardship, lays out its core components, and describes essential characteristics of effective stewardship programs, including key performance measures.
Organizations agreeing to the framework include: Elanco Animal Health, Hormel Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store, McDonald’s Corporation, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, Smithfield Foods, Inc., Tyson Foods, Walmart Inc., and Zoetis.
The 15 core components of the antibiotic stewardship framework are based on the importance of veterinary guidance and partnership, disease prevention strategies, and optimal treatment approaches, as well as effective record keeping and a culture of continuous improvement and commitment to antibiotic stewardship. The components address education, implementation, and evaluation steps for phasing in stewardship programs. The framework’s guiding principles are intended to help ensure that stewardship programs have a clear scientific basis, are transparent, minimize the risk of unintended consequences, encourage alternatives to antibiotics, and focus on long-term sustainability.
Ultimately, the framework’s stakeholders seek to foster and validate the continuous improvement of science-based and validated stewardship practices, and to implement best practices throughout the animal production system. The dialogue’s participants also acknowledged that much work still remains to effectively implement the stewardship framework.
Tuesday December 18, 2018/ The Pew Charitable Trusts/ USA.