Beef cattle must be healthy and well-cared for in order to produce great, quality meat. And one of the ways that we keep our animals healthy on our ranch is by using antibiotics.
We don’t just use antibiotics to use them. On our ranch, we have a herd health program where our cattle get regular medical care, including checkups, that starts with vaccinations to prevent disease (much like a well-child checkup for our son). But sometimes animals get sick, just like we do and it’s necessary to treat them. So we give antibiotics if an animal is injured or to fight a bacterial infection. This is the most common and prevalent use of antibiotics in livestock.
Under the care of our veterinarian, we closely follow the label and dosing instructions which are approved by the FDA.
The FDA regulates the approval and use of antibiotics in animal medicine. Their approval process is stringent and they use the same testing for antibiotics in animals as they do for humans. Any antibiotic given to a food animal has a specified withdrawal time which is the amount of time from the last shot until it is out of their system. An example could be that we notice signs of respiratory disease in one of our cattle, we work closely with our veterinarian and under the guidelines of the FDA to give that animal an antibiotic where we follow the label and dosing instructions. The maximum length is 28 days – so the FDA assures us that is no antibiotic residue in our meat as well as the USDA randomly inspects meat to make sure it is safe.
As a fourth generation cattle rancher working with our veterinarian, it is a law that we follow this withdrawal time and we take that very seriously, which means doing the right thing by closely monitoring the care we give our animals. I want to continue to earn the respect and trust we have with our meat buyers and beef eaters and we want healthy animals to provide healthy, safe and nutritious beef.
My family and I depend on healthy cattle for our livelihoods. We care for our herd by giving them a good diet, good medical care and healthy living conditions. Our commitment to providing top-notch beef begins with top-notch animal care.