This is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (11/18 – 11/24). In recognition of that, CDFA is highlighting California’s innovative program focused on antimicrobial use and stewardship in livestock. Antimicrobial resistance is an issue of importance to all of us – across human, animal, and environmental health sectors.
The Antimicrobial Use and Stewardship (AUS) program is proud to be the nation’s first-of-its-kind program focused on preserving the efficacy of antibiotic drugs in livestock through veterinary oversight. The program was established in 2017 through forward-thinking and collaborative legislation (SB 27 [Hill, 2015]).
The AUS program consists of a team of veterinarians, epidemiologists, and specialists working together to achieve this. AUS is focused on innovative approaches to antimicrobial resistance and responsible antibiotic use associated with livestock in California. The program provides information for veterinarians and producers to optimize antimicrobial use and stewardship. During its first few years, AUS has produced multiple milestone reports describing program activities, including the recently published AUS 2020 Annual Report and the 2019 Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) Summary Report.
In order to promote veterinary services in those communities with limited access to large animal veterinary practitioners, the AUS program created resources to help practitioners and clients understand the requirements of a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship within a youth agricultural context. Additionally, the AUS program showcases financial grant programs designed to support food animal veterinarians, food safety, and public health in California. The most prominent programs to provide financial support in these areas are the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Establishing incentives for hard-working veterinarians to expand their practice and support food safety, as well as educating future food animal producers benefits all Californians and AUS is honored to support these important agricultural sectors.
For more information on AUS, please visit the AUS website or reach out to the program at CDFA_AUS@CDFA.CA.GOV or (916) 576-0300. To receive updates from AUS, join the listserv or follow the program on Facebook.
In calling attention to this program, CDFA is emphasizing the importance of veterinary care to maintain California’s animal agriculture industry and the pursuit of reliable access to veterinary services across the state. CDFA supports the practices of existing veterinarians currently working hard to protect our food supply, and the agency encourages the expansion of veterinary practices and expertise.