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On Your Table Blog

July 27, 2018

What happens when...

A "no antibiotics ever" animal gets sick

What happens when...
Excerpted from The Food Dialogues blog

by Dr. Marybeth Feutz, Veterinarian

Do you look for USDA Certified Organic or “raised without antibiotics” labels when you buy groceries? How do those choices affect the way the animals are raised?

One question I often hear is “what happens to animals who are being raised without antibiotics or following USDA Certified Organic guidelines, when they get sick?. Under the Certified Organic guidelines, if an animal requires antibiotics due to illness, that animal will receive treatment and be permanently removed from the organic, no-antibiotics herd and placed in a traditional herd after proper withdrawal times have passed.

According to the USDA, The term “no antibiotics added” may be used on labels for meat or poultry products if the farmer can provide copies of records that show the animals were raised without antibiotics.

I recently had the chance to talk with two Indiana farmers who are raising their livestock as “no antibiotics ever” or under USDA Certified Organic guidelines. Pete, whose family runs a 3rd generation certified organic dairy farm in Northeast Indiana; and Drew, who grew up on a traditional pig farm and recently started raising “no antibiotics added” pigs.

Learn more about Pete and Drew's farming decisions by reading the rest of Dr. Feutz's post on the Food Dialogues blog.