March 21, 2018

Week 2

By Sonja Perry

As an aspiring food animal veterinarian, proper use of antibiotics is a concept I am continually asked about both within and outside of school. During my food animal rotation at the University of Missouri, I found myself constantly asking questions about the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act more commonly referred to as AMDUCA. AMDUCA sets forth the rules as to how veterinarians in the United States can use antibiotics to treat sick animals with conditions that no drug available is labeled for in a manner that prevents antibiotic residues in meat. After fielding several questions on these regulations, a professor directed me to FARAD’s website. FARAD (Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database) is a database of information that helps veterinarians navigate the complicated issues found within AMDUCA and provides information about how veterinarians can use antibiotics to improve animal welfare and ensure food safety. While here in D.C. one of the issues I’ve been learning a lot about is how AMDUCA is funded. Working on this issue is a lot of fun for me because it is something that I have seen firsthand – how it affects veterinarians and thus animals and humans who consume animal products.

AMDUCA may seem like a small issue for most people, but for veterinarians and those involved in livestock production, funding for it is imperative. As those involved in veterinary medicine, we are in a unique position to advocate for tools that directly impact animal production. Neither veterinary medicine nor agriculture happen in a vacuum. It is necessary to have people who understand what is happening inside the farm gate to advocate outside of it. While in DC, I have learned about several ways to stay involved in advocacy after the externship is over. Stay tuned for a future blog post here where I will dive deeper into those ways!

This week has also allowed me the opportunity to explore D.C. and attend several different veterinary and science-based functions. Meeting people from such a diverse set of backgrounds and interest has opened my eyes in a new way to the complexities of One Health. Weather at presentations or dinners, meeting and networking with such a diverse group of people has been one of my favorite parts of this externship. I hope that as this externship continues I will be able to continue to meet and learn from the people around me.