Respiratory disease in growing cattle has both animal welfare and economic implications, but the use of antimicrobial drugs to treat and control it is under public scrutiny owing to concerns that their use in food-producing animals may be detrimental to human health. This paper outlines criteria for the selection of appropriate and cost-effective drugs, based on good clinical practice and sound economic principles. It also suggests that these principles should be integrated into quality assurance schemes, and that the monitoring of antimicrobial resistance patterns among known bacterial respiratory pathogens should be improved.
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