Says Dr. Karen Jordan, a dairy farmer and veterinarian, Brush Creek Swiss Farms, North Carolina: " We would also go to the prevention part of our operation and gear up at a greater rate and use the tools we have. I would be concerned about what the animal's welfare would be like, which to me is the saddest thing."
For Barb Determan, a northwest Iowa pork producer, Heartland Marketing Group, "I have the same concerns as Karen (Jordan), what does this do to animal welfare."
That meat without drugs campaign that CU is pushing brought some interesting questions. What to do with animals that do get sick and need to be treated. Would selling that animal after it is safely past the withdrawal time be the right thing to do? "We might need a new label for meat from animals that were treated for illness," she notes.
Treatment only approach
Halloran contends that the push to a treatment only model would reduce the antibiotics used in livestock to 15% rather than the 80% they contend it is today. That assertion raised some questions from Dr. Christine Hoang, a veterinarian with the American Veterinary Medical Assocation: "You have to look at the unintended consequences of such a move," she notes. "Would there be more treatment of sick animals if you weren't using preventive antibiotics."
Says Keith Ayoob, pediatric nutritionist, Albert Einstein School of Medicine: "Surely treatment would rise because those preventative antibiotics must have some benefit, or why would they use them."