WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2014 -- The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) today announced the creation of the Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture.

The goal of the task force is to help advise the federal government on a research agenda and to aid in disseminating information on the use of antibiotics in production agriculture.

“We recognize antibiotic resistance as a public health challenge and look forward to collaborating with APLU and the federal government on this critical initiative,” said AAVMC Executive Director Andrew Maccabe, noting that many of the AAVMC’s member institutions are based at land-grant universities.

The task force is comprised of representatives from U.S. agriculture colleges/land grant universities and veterinary colleges as well as representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and production animal agriculture community, including officials from the National Pork Producers Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Chicken Council. Officials from federal agencies are expected to act as observers to the task force and leaders from public universities in Mexico and Canada will serve as ex officio members.

 “This is an important collaborative effort,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “The task force and its members are well positioned to advise the Obama administration as they consider strategies to address the judicious use of antibiotics in production agriculture.”

The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have expressed serious concerns about the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria in veterinary and human medicine to develop defenses against different classes of antibiotic compounds.

In September, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released a report, “Combating Antibiotic Resistance,” which laid out several recommendations to address the problem. President Obama has also issued an executive order that describes the antibiotic resistant bacteria problem as a national security priority and directs various executive branch departments and agencies to develop a specific plan of action by mid-February to address antibiotic resistance and protect public health.

The task force’s members include:

  • Lonnie J. King, Dean, Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine (chair of the task force)
  • Robert A. Easter, President, University of Illinois (co-chair of the task force)
  • Richard A. Carnevale, Vice President, Regulatory, Scientific and International Affairs, Animal Health Institute
  • Thomas Coon, Vice President, Dean and Director, Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR)
  • Eleanor Green, Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
  • Ronnie Green, Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor, University of Nebraska.
  • Walter Hill, Dean, College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University
  • Christine Hoang, Assistant Director, Division of Scientific Activities, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • Ashley Peterson, Vice President of Science and Technology, National Chicken Council
  • Willie Reed, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University
  • Kathy Simmons, Chief Veterinarian, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • Liz Wagstrom, Chief Veterinarian, National Pork Producers Council

Ex Officio members are:

  • Alastair E. Cribb, Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary
  • Francisco José Trigo Tavera, Secretary of Institutional Development, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

 Ex Officio members are:

  • Andrew T. Maccabe, Executive Director, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)
  • Ian Maw, Vice President, Food, Agriculture & Natural Resources at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)


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