As the policy debate over antibiotic resistance rolls on, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Animal Health Institute, an animal drug industry group, are planning to hold a panel discussion on the critical role veterinarians play in public health, including their role in ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics.

“Veterinarians’ responsibility in keeping animals healthy is an essential part of the human health ecosystem,” read an email from AHI this week. “Whether working on a farm, in private or corporate practice, government, academic or uniformed services, veterinarians play an increasingly critical role in protecting public health.”

The meeting, scheduled June 20, will discuss the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new guidance document, “The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food Producing Animals,” which, as AHI puts it, “recommends increasing veterinary oversight of antibiotic administration.”

Dr. John Clifford, the Chief Veterinary Officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dr. Doug Meckes, the Branch Chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s Agriculture & Veterinary Defense Branch, Dr. Terri Clark, Director of the Office of Animal Care & Use at the National Institute of Health, Rene Carlson, president of AVMA, Alexander Mathews, president and CEO of AHI and Christine Navarre the former president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

The panel is scheduled for Wednesday June 20 at the Capitol Visitors Center. Registration is from 11:45 to 12:05 and the discussion will be from 12:05 to 2 pm. Chick-fil-A will be served for lunch.

RSVP to Brigid Zeller at

This article has been updated to reflect that the focus of the meeting is on the public health role of veterinarians.