The Use of Antibiotics in Food-Producing Animals: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Animals and Humans

Antibiotics are used to treat and prevent infectious bacterial diseases in humans and in domestic and food-producing animals.

Page last updated: 01 October 1999

Report of the Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR)
October 1999


Antibiotics are used to treat and prevent infectious bacterial diseases in humans and in domestic and food-producing animals. If bacteria become resistant (which can occur through the use and overuse of antibiotics), the antibiotics become ineffective.

In response to this issue, the Minister for Health and Aged Care and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, jointly established a Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR) in 1998.

JETACAR comprised experts from the areas of human health, veterinary medicine and primary industry. It was tasked with assessing the scientific evidence of a link between the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, the emergence and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their spread to humans, and to recommend future risk management strategies.

The Government released the JETACAR report on 22 October 1999. The 22 JETACAR recommendations fall into five main categories:

  • regulatory controls aimed at ensuring responsible use of antibiotics in humans and food-producing animals;
  • monitoring and surveillance of the use of antibiotics and changes in antibiotic resistance patterns;
  • infection prevention strategies and hygienic measures to reduce the need for antibiotics;
  • education, including prudent-use codes of practice; and
  • further research into antibiotic use and alternatives to antibiotics.

The full publication is available as a PDF file:
The Use of Antibiotics in Food-Producing Animals: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Animals and Humans (PDF 1466 KB)

If you are having difficulty downloading the PDF document please email ohp.webmaster@health.gov.au and we will arrange for an alternative format or a copy to be sent to you.

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