Bridging the Gap between Animal Health and Human Health — NIAA Antibiotic Symposium White Paper Released

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) recently published a white paper for the 2013 symposium, Bridging the Gap between Animal Health and Human Health, a continuation and extension of two previous symposiums, Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose in 2011 and A One Health Approach to Antimicrobial Use & Resistance: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose in 2012.

The goals of the 2013 and the past symposiums have been the same, supportive of the NIAA’s mission to continue forging a new path for a strong relationship between farmers, veterinarians, experts, drug companies and others, in order to resolve antibiotic resistance.

Twenty presentations were given by a range of experts on antibiotic use and resistance, which addressed many items, including the following:

  1. Due to wide mistreatment of antibiotics and a wide array of viewpoints, our knowledge of antibiotic resistance requires further study and clarification. There are many facets to antimicrobial resistance; if you believe you have a 100% understanding, then you haven’t received an accurate explanation.
  2. The relationship between animal, human and environmental health is compelled by the following: 1) the fact that antimicrobial resistance is bound to happen—its existence is natural and present, regardless of the use of antimicrobials; 2) when an antibiotic gains access to the ecosystem, there is a possibility that it will advance antibiotic resistance.
  3. Antibiotic resistance can be transferred between animals and humans, and vice versa.
  4. Antibiotic resistance is present in livestock, humans and companion animals, or pets.
  5. Antibiotic resistance is a global issue, not just an issue in the US.
  6. Meat manufacturing needs to follow current regulations, including correcting our mistreatment of animal antibiotics.
  7. Working towards decreasing the prevalence of antibiotic resistance requires collaboration. We must ask ourselves, “How does human health, environmental health and animal health work together to address antibiotic use and resistance?”.
  8. And much more.


Though the symposium brought key experts in human and veterinary medicine together to debate on the best approach to solving antibiotic resistance, there is still much to be done. We must closely observe and gain a better understanding of antibiotic resistance, as well as improve the motivation for advancing new antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance doesn’t originate from one source; the best way to focus on the issue is to streamline the system and eradicate any confusion.

Read all our blog posts on Human-Animal Health

Read the Bridging the Gap between Animal Health and Human Health White Paper

January 28, 2014

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“Living High on the Hog” – New York Post, 9 March 2013

In 1999, New York City amended the health code to disallow people from owning pigs; however, the law hasn’t stopped many people from continuing to keep pigs.

According to pig owners, pigs are a great alternative pet for those who suffer from asthma and dander allergies, since pigs don’t shed. While pigs can be as loving and affectionate as other traditional pets, pigs do present some hazards, such as public health risks — they cannot be vaccinated for diseases like rabies — and aggressive tendencies. Just like dogs or cats, pigs have to be bathed and groomed, and must be spayed or neutered. Pigs must also be vaccinated and tested, and must have more access to air conditioning and water since they don’t sweat.

Queens Senator Tony Avella is fighting New York City’s pig policy, and may even introduce new legislation to overturn NYC health code; Sen. Avella wants to stop the fining and evictions that can result from owning a pig. A petition on to reverse the health code has almost 1,500 signatures.

The most popular pigs are Vietnamese potbelly pigs, which were bred to become pets and can be 100-200 pounds, and mini Juliana pigs, which are usually 20-50 pounds. The typical lifespan of a pig is akin to dogs and cats — 15 years — and, according to pig owners, pigs can be taught use a litter box. Pigs are also known to be hypoallergenic. In our opinion, pigs belong to swine farms and not in households, which is best for both pigs and people. There are many other pet options if you are allergic, but have the urge to take care of a living species.

Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

March 13, 2013

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Copyright 2013   All rights Reserved by Fluid Management Systems, Inc.

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