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: 08 December 2014

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 then Minister for Health and Aged Care and the then 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 of The Use of Antibiotics in Food-Producing Animals: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Animals and Humans is available on request, by emailing AMR (AMR@health.gov.au).

The following reports are also available. To obtain a copy of these reports please email AMR (AMR@health.gov.au).

  • The Commonwealth Government Response to the Report of the Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR) - August 2000
  • Progress Report - Progress with the Implementation of JETACAR Report - Updated 16 November 2001
  • CIJIG Progress Report - Progress with the implementation of the Government response to the Report of the JETACAR - Updated March 2003
  • CIJIG Communique - National Summit on Antibiotic Resistance

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