Niman Ranch Statement on FDA Report Showing Rising Antibiotic Use for Livestock
WESTMINSTER, Colo. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released their annual report tracking sales of antibiotics for livestock. Overall, medically important antibiotic sales for meat production increased 4% between 2021 and 2022, with pigs accounting for 43% of sales, cattle 41%, turkeys 12% and chickens 2%.
“As a longtime leader in the no antibiotics ever sector, it is dispiriting to see the use of medically important antibiotics on the rise for livestock production. This is a concerning trend for both human and animal health as antibiotic-resistant superbugs become an increasing threat. Raising livestock without antibiotic overuse is paramount to the future efficacy of these life-saving drugs and reducing the world health crisis of antibiotic resistance. The Niman Ranch network of over 600 independent family farmers and ranchers prove every day that routine antibiotic use is not necessary when animals are provided a low-stress environment with extra space, fresh air and humane animal care.”
Chris Oliviero, General Manager, Niman Ranch
About Niman Ranch:
Niman Ranch is a network of over 600 independent family farmers and ranchers who raise pork, beef and lamb sustainably and humanely without antibiotics, hormones or crates. Niman Ranch is the largest farmer and rancher network in North America to be 100% Certified Humane®.
Niman Ranch was started by independent family farmers and ranchers as a way to make a living raising livestock humanely, sustainably and on a smaller scale. What started with a cattle rancher, shepherd and hog farmer has today grown to hundreds of family farmers working together to supply product to award-winning restaurants, values-driven chains like Chipotle and Shake Shack and specialty grocers across the country. Photos of Niman Ranch farms for media use. (Please credit Niman Ranch)
The FDA started collecting antibiotic sales data in 2009.
Almost two-thirds of medically important antibiotics sold in the U.S. go to meat production.
FDA’s Guidance 213 became effective in 2017, expanding veterinary oversight and banning antibiotic use for growth promotion. Since that associated initial drop, antibiotic use has stayed stubbornly high across species.