California lawmaker Kevin Mullin (D-22) this week assembled a group of advocates to rally in support of his California Assembly bill 1437, which would place new restrictions on the use of antibiotics in livestock in California.
Mullin, whose district includes South San Francisco, believes current actions from the FDA to drive voluntary efforts to reduce antibiotic use in agriculture and require more veterinarian involvement in antibiotic decisions do not go far enough to prevent emergence of resistant pathogens.
“Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are now commonly found in meat from farm animals that are fed low doses of antibiotics to enhance growth or to prevent, rather than treat disease. In fact, the majority of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used, not for human consumption, but in the production of meat,” Mullin says in a news release.
The bill, originally proposed in January, would do the following:
- Require that medically important antibiotics be used on farms only to treat sick animals or for a disease outbreak.
- Prohibit routine antibiotic use for animal growth or “disease prevention.”
- Ensuring that antibiotic use on farms is supervised by a veterinarian.
- Require reporting of livestock antibiotic use to the state, which will allow regulators and scientists to track progress in meeting antibiotic stewardship goals.
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