Assessment of Antibiotic Stewardship Components of Certification Programs in US Animal Agriculture Using the Antibiotic Stewardship Assessment Tool
Antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) are meant to promote appropriate use of antibiotics and to help maintain the effectiveness of antibiotics. For the United States (US) animal agriculture industry, multiple resources exist to guide antibiotic stewardship practices. Animal management certification programs can promote on-farm compliance with antibiotic stewardship through the incentive of achieving certification. The goal of this project was to determine whether the stewardship-related requirements of US-based certification programs align with identified core components of antibiotic stewardship in food animal agriculture using the Antibiotic Stewardship Assessment Tool (ASAT). We applied the ASAT to publicly available information from four different US animal agriculture certification programs that incorporate some level of antibiotic stewardship. In part due to varying scopes, the programs demonstrated a great deal of variability in meeting the metrics of the ASAT, with one program meeting all the required metrics and the other three only meeting the metrics to varying degrees (ranging from 3 to 67%). We identified several areas as opportunities for enhancing and promoting ASP implementation on farms.
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