Tabke, along with Dr. Trevlor Martin and Dr. Kristi Mason, responds to livestock health needs within an approximately 40 mile radius of the Marcus office and associated clinic in Remsen.
Pausing his work for a brief interview, Tabke said he feels assisting these producers with responsible care of their livestock is essential in today's changing world of livestock production, and he takes his end of the responsibility seriously.
"Our livestock producers are and have been conscientious in their management of their livestock be it hogs or cattle," he said. "As veterinarians we see our job as supporting them in this effort."
The bio-security, keeping sick animals out of an operation, is a critical part of a successful livestgock operation, Tabke said.
"And, yes, the careful and wise use of antibiotics has been a part of this," he said.
Sitting back and relaxing in his clinic office, he paused to consider the newly released announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a "voluntary initiative" to limit antibiotic usage for growth promoting or production purposes within the livestock industry.
"Do I know what's going to happen? At this point I'm not certain," he said. "We've been treating disease in livestock with antibiotics for a long time, and it would be difficult to not continue to do so with responsible use of those available."
Keeping livestock healthy is a very important factor in the economics of the livestock industry, Tabke said.
"When an antibiotic problem has been found in the past and pulled from the market, we've worked hard to find another one suitable for substitution and to meet our needs for treatment," he noted. "People most often talk about the worst that can happen in a situation. I'm hopeful that suitable solutions can be worked out."
Crediting the mild winter as aiding livestock producers in the health management of their cattle and hogs, Tabke also commended area producers' determination to strengthen their herd health management programs.