"It looks like they are heading in the right direction," he added. "It is critical this remains collaborative rather than a formal rule-making process."
A statement from the Animal Health Institute (AHI), which represents animal-health companies, agreed with the collaborative approach that FDA is taking with the various stakeholders.
"The veterinarian is critically important in animal care decisions and, ultimately, in protecting food safety and human health," the AHI said. "We strongly support responsible use of antibiotic medicines and the involvement of a veterinarian whenever antibiotics are administered to food producing animals.
"Implementation of this policy means all medically-important antibiotics used in animal agriculture will be used only for therapeutic purposes – disease treatment, control and prevention -- under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. This policy will assure these medically important medicines are used in animal health in much the same way they are used in human health -- under the supervision of a licensed professional and only to address disease challenges at various stages," the AHI said.