Cattle Health

The top priority of cattlemen and women is to raise healthy cattle, which are the foundation of a safe, wholesome and nutritious food supply. This has been consistent throughout our industry’s history and in our long-term efforts to continually improve the knowledge and ability to raise healthy cattle. NCBA’s membership remains committed to supporting cattle health research in an effort to continually incorporate sound science into herd health programs. For generations, cattlemen across the country have worked with veterinarians in the careful use of antibiotics to treat, control and prevent diseases.

Cattlemen take very seriously the responsibility to provide the utmost care for our animals and actively participate in multiple industry-led initiatives aimed at ensuring the health and well-being of our cattle. One of these programs is Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) which is a national program implemented by the states. BQA provides information to producers on animal health, animal welfare, and transportation techniques.


Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA)

ADUFA is legislation that amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect fees for certain animal drug applications, in support of the review of animal drugs. It is authorized for a five-year time frame.


 Cattle producers use a variety of tools to raise healthy animals. These tools range from vaccines, antibiotics, nutrition programs, low-stress handling techniques and superior cattle genetics/traits. The judicious use of antibiotics are an important technology cattlemen use to achieve comprehensive herd-health plans to prevent problems and treat issues when they arise. 

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)

 BQA is a pre-harvest supply chain management program that applies the latest science and technology to ensure beef quality and safety. This is a national program that is administered by the states. Some of the industry's best scientific minds work with cattlemen to ensure the latest science is being incorporated into the program.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

 The U.S. beef industry has worked with government officials and scientists to implement multiple interlocking safeguards to prevent bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from taking hold in our country. At the 2013 World Organization for Animal Health OIE meeting, the Scientific Commission voted to upgrade the United States' risk classification for BSE to negligible risk status, which was very positive news for U.S. cattle producers.

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

 The United States cattle herd has been free of Foot and mouth disease (FMD) since 1929. FMD is a highly contagious viral disease among cloven-hoofed animals. FMD is not a human food safety concern, nor a threat to public health. The U.S. cattle industry continues to work with government officials to ensure the safety of our cattle herds.

International Involvement

NCBA, on behalf of our membership, strives to be at the forefront of issues both domestically and internationally. In order to do this, NCBA works closely with two scientific international bodies. The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an organization that sets scientific post harvest food standards internationally for trade. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is an intergovernmental organization that is responsible for establishing scientific animal health and welfare standards. 


Additional Information

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For our Government Affairs office, contact the NCBA DC Office at 202-347-0228.

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