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Just like you, animals get sick too. Just like certain sicknesses you may face, sometimes medication is needed to get over the sickness.



Animal medicine goes through three layers of approval to determine if the medicine is safe for the animal, the environment, and human consumption.



Milk is tested multiple times for antibiotic residues before ever leaving the farm and again before unloading at the processing plant to ensure food and consumer safety.



DYK: The USDA randomly tests and monitors all meat products before it gets to your plate to ensure it’s safe to eat.



Farmers and ranchers work with veterinarians to minimize disease risks and the need for antibiotic use.



Herd health plans include vaccination protocols, mitigating antibiotic needs, and reducing disease risks.



Veterinarians work to make a plan to prevent disease and determine when to administer medications, like antibiotics, if a chicken gets sick.



Veterinarians work with farmers and ranchers to treat animals if they get sick, just like a doctor would with you.



It’s important to cook all meat to the recommended temperatures to kill bacteria and keep your family safe.



Advancements in genetics, veterinary management, and animal disease research have led to improved animal health and less reliance on antibiotics.



Antibiotics are an important tool for veterinarians tasked with protecting animal health and preventing suffering from disease, which can lead to poor animal welfare.


If livestock or poultry are treated with antibiotics, they must go through a specific withdrawal period (determined by the antibiotic prescribed) to ensure enough time has passed for the antibiotic to leave the animal’s system before being processed to ensure your meat and milk are free of antibiotic residues!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken an antibiotic and felt so much better afterwards. Well, sometimes cows need an antibiotic to get over an illness. While the cow is on the antibiotic, their milk is not mixed in with the milk from the rest of the herd. Farmers also wait a specific time period (called a withdrawal period) before that cow can be milked again with the rest of the herd. Every time a truck comes to pick milk up from a farm, the milk is tested for antibiotic residue. If it tests positive, the entire tanker of milk is discarded and that farmer is responsible for reimbursing the entire load. So you see, there are strict measures in place to prevent antibiotics in milk!


DYK: Under the new FDA policy on judicious use of antibiotics, a veterinarian must be involved for medically important antibiotics and growth promotion use has been eliminated.


Why would a vet prescribe an antibiotic for an animal that isn’t sick?

Veterinarians and farmers recognize that diseases can spread rapidly, so when one animal shows symptoms of a disease or becomes ill, the surrounding animals may not be sick yet, but are likely to get sick and may die if they aren’t treated. This is known as preventive antibiotic treatment.


The vast majority of antibiotics are either used in people or animals, but very rarely both.

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