We have been spending time with the Antibiotics Resistance Action Center (ARAC) yesterday and today to help the USDA write the manual for beef producers to implement and be certified as responsible users of antibiotics. We have been identified and selected by their group as a producer that they would like to work with to define the details and be their "pilot program" to be the first CRAU certified beef farm in the US.
Unfortunately in the conventional beef industry, many large feedlots still give cattle antibiotics for "prevention" in their daily feed or water. These antibiotics give the feedlots more opportunity to raise cattle in less than sanitary conditions and feed unhealthy higher-energy diets that would produce liver abscesses in cattle without these antibiotics. The ARAC group is concerned about antibiotic resistance reducing the efficacy of both human and livestock antibiotics so they are working to reduce the unnecessary use of these antibiotics. Sick animals will still be given antibiotics in the same way that humans do, when they need them and for a designated period of time.
We will keep you posted on our progress. As the pilot, there is a lot of legwork to develop the manual for audits with all the necessary documentation and getting the official approval from the USDA.