More Research Needed to Measure Extent of Antimicrobial Resistance

Stock image. (Debra Murphy/RealAgriculture, 2016)

Although he sees minor improvement in the cattle industry’s work towards mitigating the risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), Cody Creelman, managing partner and DVM, Veterinary Agri-Health Services, says there’s much more work to be done to understand the extent of AMR.

“There needs to be more dedicated research,” Creelman told RealAgriculture, in an interview filmed at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference this August. “We’re really just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of even knowing if there is a problem.”

Creelman was speaking on AMR and antibiotic usage in the cow/calf and feedlot industries in the inaugural conference’s “Bov-Innovation” session, where he hoped producers would take away some key points to continue to mitigate the risk of AMR.

“From a producer perspective, definitely working with industry buyers and…herd health veterinarians to sit down and be proactive in terms of treatment protocols and also training on how to identify diseases.”

Producers, he suggests, should have a plan in place, to know which drug to use for which disease, and of course, this should be made in consultation with a veterinarian.

As for communication between the cow/calf sector and feedlots, Creelman says he thinks there’s a lot of mistrust. Cow/calf producers tend to think the feedlot owners are only looking after their bottom line, and feedlots tend to wonder if cow/calf producers really have managed their animals the way they suggest.

“But if you have a real relationship — a friendship, a partnership — with various feedlots, it makes it really easy to, say, sell your calves ranch-direct,” reassures Creelman.

Creelman suggests producers attend industry events and leverage social media to start building relationships through networking.

“It is really just all about actively wanting to get there.”

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