Animal Drug User Fee Act Reauthorization Comes Before House Energy and Commerce Committee
WASHINGTON – Today the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA). The reauthorization of ADUFA is one of the top priorities for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) as set by its members. ADUFA legislation authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect fees for certain animal drug applications. This allows pharmaceutical companies to pay a user fee to FDA, which is used to hire additional technical staff. By hiring additional technical staff, FDA is able to approve future animal health products without adding to the burden on taxpayers.
At the hearing, the Committee heard testimony from Dr. Mike Apley, DVM with a Ph.D. in pharmacology. Apley currently teaches at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., and testified to the importance of animal health technologies that in turn allow veterinarians and producers to prevent, control and treat diseases to maintain animal health.
“The overarching goal of veterinarians and producers is to replace the need for prevention or control uses of antibiotics through good management practices,” said Apley. “ADUFA allows veterinarians and producers a greater array of current products to use in these practices. Uses of antibiotics in food animals are highly regulated, starting with specific indications on the label as approved by the FDA. Any other use of these products must meet strict requirements, including strict oversight requirements for veterinary involvement.”
The most important relationship in the judicious use of antibiotics is that between the veterinarian and the producers. The 2011 National Beef Quality Audit found that nearly 90 percent of respondents have a working relationship with a veterinarian when it comes to the use of animal health products. The Beef Quality Audit also found that 99 percent of cattlemen followed Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) best management practices which stress the judicious use of antimicrobial drugs for cattle through a set of guidelines first established in 1987 and reviewed regularly for scientific relevance.
Cattlemen and women work with veterinarians to implement comprehensive herd-health management plans, which include the appropriate use of antibiotics to prevent, control and treat diseases in cattle. These antibiotics are made specifically for cattle to help animals regain and maintain superior health. The vast majority of antibiotics used in livestock are never used in humans.