Oklahoma Congressional Delegation Urged to Oppose PAMTA
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Reps. Brian Renegar (D-Blanco) and Jerry McPeak (D-Warner) voiced opposition today to legislation filed by U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York.
Slaughter has filed H.R. 1549, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). This legislation would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ban antibiotics used as prevention for animal diseases.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) also opposes the proposed legislation because it would increase animal disease and death. Renegar and McPeak are in agreement with the AVMA.
“This proposal would be detrimental to my veterinary clients if they were banned from using drugs for prevention,” said Renegar, a veterinarian. “Specifically, the prevention and control of anaplasmosis, coccidiosis, and respiratory infections would go unchecked. For more than 40 years, antibiotics have been used to protect our food supply and to improve animal health.”
Congresswoman Slaughter has said her purpose in filing the bill is to decrease the development of antibiotic-resistant human disease producing bacteria. However, this same ban was put into place in Denmark and the Netherlands in 2000, but it has not reduced antibiotic resistant patterns in humans. However, it has resulted in an increase of diseases and deaths in animals.
“We have always heard ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ yet this resolution is contradictory to that tried and true message,” McPeak said. “This is an example of the federal government attempting to tell farmers and ranchers, yet again, how to conduct their business.”
Scott Dewald, Executive Vice-President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) added, “The OCA and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are in complete agreement with Representatives Renegar and McPeak on this issue. Oklahoma cattle producers will soon be in Washington to lobby our Congressional delegation. There is no higher priority for us than to voice our opposition to this bad public policy.” The OCA represents more than 5000 Oklahoma cattle producing families.
Renegar and McPeak also noted that the FDA already has several layers of protection in place to ensure that antibiotics used to keep animals healthy do not harm public health.