California Senate passes bill to limit use of antibiotics in farm animals

May 6, 2014

According to Reuters, the California State Senate passed a bill on May 1 to restrict the use of antibiotics in farm animals for growth enhancement by requiring that the drugs be sold by prescription for medical reasons only. The first-in-the-nation legislation would codify into law voluntary U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, issued late last year, aimed at stemming a surge in resistance to certain antibiotics in humans. The bill was introduced by state Senator Jerry Hill (D-Calif).

The bill mandates that antibiotics be prescribed by veterinarians for medical uses and that drug manufacturers change labels for animal antibiotics to state that they are to be sold only by prescription. The measure would apply only to antibiotics used by humans, including tetracycline and penicillin, and would not restrict drugs used solely for animals.

Passed by a 34-1 senate vote, the measure will now head to the state assembly for another round of votes. According to Hill, if approved, California would be the first state to ban human-used antibiotics on farm animals without a prescription.

Reuters article

Sen. Hill press release